Summer is a great time to get out and have fun outside with your furry friend. However, the temperature gets too hot during this season, so you have to keep them safe this summer season. Failing to keep their temperatures healthy this summer season could cause severe health issues like heat stroke that could possibly kill your pet. Keep your dog safe with these summer safety tips:
Know which breed is sensitive to heat. Some dogs can easily tolerate hotter climates, and there are those that will have a harder time adjusting to extreme temperatures. Snub-nosed breeds like Boxer, bulldogs, pugs will have a hard time regulating their temperatures because of their shorter nasal passages. Giant breed dogs like the Newfoundland, Great Dane, and English Mastiff will also have a hard time managing their temperatures.
Never leave your dog in the car. Even if you think that you'll be gone for just a few minutes, leaving your dog in the car is a big mistake. Regardless if it is not that hot outside, the temperature inside the vehicle can rise fast. A typical 85-degree day could escalate the temperature in the car up to 10F in as quickly as 10 minutes - that's even if you leave a part of your window open. In 30 minutes, the temperatures could rise up to 130 degrees! If you go to places where you can't bring your dog with you, then leave them at home.
Keep your home cool. If you are to leave your pet at home, make sure that the room is cold enough for them to keep them fresh. The best way to keep them cool is to turn the AC unit on. But not all of us has the luxury to afford an AC unit. So, here are some tips to keep your house cool when you don't have an air conditioning unit.
Use fans. Open your windows and turn on your fans. Put the fans into oscillate mode to circulate the air. You can also put an ice cube in front of these fans to keep the air cooler.
- Have a ventilation system that blows out the heat inside the house.
- The direct sunlight that comes into your home can increase the temperature. Place blinds or curtains to keep the sunlight from entering your house.
- Turn on your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to draw out hot air faster.
Give plenty of water and shade. Don't leave your pet alone in the scorching heat of the sun for too long. Make sure that your dog drinks lots of water and can go to shade from time to time. Trees are a better shade than dog houses because trees circulate the air while dog houses trap heat.
Groom your pet. If your dog has lots of hair, summer is the right time to give them some trim. Also, get rid of the mats and tangles as it helps to keep them cool. But don't shave or clip your dog's hair too much as these could help keep them cool in the summer. Ask your vet about how much dog hair can you remove.
Avoid prolonged exposure to hot pavement. During this season, the best time to walk your pet is early in the morning or at night when the pavement is not hot. If you walk during the day, stay in the grassy or wooded areas as these are areas are usually cooler than the sidewalk.
To check if the pavement is too hot for your dog to walk, here's what you can do:
- Place your hand or barefoot on the surface of the roadway for at least 10 seconds.
- If you can't stay that long because it's too hot, then it will be too hot for your pet.
Watch out for sunburn. Dogs experience sunburn just like us when we are exposed to the heat of the sun for too long. Dogs with short and light-colored furs are usually the ones that get sunburned easily. Don't use human sunscreen protection for your pet as there are chemicals that are toxic to them. There are specifically-made sunburn lotions for dogs.
Protect your pets from pests. Ticks and mosquitoes are rampant this season. Talk to your vet about the different preventives available. Before you let your dog inside the house, do a tick check first. Inspect all areas where the ticks would typically stay.
Don't let your dogs drink from the ocean or pool. Bring fresh water whenever you go out on a pool or a beach. The bleach in pool water is toxic to your pet. Seawater, on the other hand, causes dehydration and vomiting. If your dog ingests too much of these, it could be fatal.
Avoid strenuous activities on hot days. Avoid doing strenuous physical activities during hot days. If it's unavoidable, keep the sessions as quick as you can. For those sweltering days, here are some things you can do to keep your pet busy indoors:
- Teach your dog to clean up his toys.
- Play tug of war with your dog.
- Play interactive games.
- Teach your dog to find their toys.
- Teach your dog a new trick.
- Master obedience or clicker training.
- Create your own indoor doggie obstacle course.
The list is exhaustive. If you know any fun activities you can do with your pet indoors, leave it in the comments section below.
Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that is caused by the elevation of your pet's body temperature. Your dog's risk of suffering from heat stroke is much more significant because they only expel excess heat through their paws and their nose. They do that by panting - this moves cool air through and around the body. When your dog doesn't have much access to cool air, they are at risk of overheating.
It is during this time when your dog is at high risk of getting a heat stroke. Here's how you can tell if your pet is having a heat stroke:
- Excessive drooling
- Heavy panting
- Balance problems
- Gums are bright red in color.
In an advanced stage of heat stroke, below are the symptoms:
- Labored and noisy breathing.
- White gums.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a heat stroke, take the necessary measures to cool your pet down. Take your dog inside immediately and try to cool them down by spraying or immersing them in cool water. Don't use ice water to cool them down as it could close the pores and cause a much bigger problem. For more information about heat stroke, read the details here.
Keep the above tips in mind if you want to go out with your dog this summer season.