The temperatures are rising and that means that dogs and humans alike need to take some extra care when spending time outside. While certain breeds of dogs love the hotter days, others can experience health problems. Be careful when spending time outside that your dog is not getting overheated, dehydrating, or sunburned.
Here are 5 tips for these summer days that are fast approaching:
- Extra water: Whether your pet is inside or outside, fresh water should be available. Check the water bowl more often during the hotter months. Thirsty animals might drink out of stagnant puddles, but don’t let them. Some puddles may have parasites in them and others may have chemicals that could be poisonous.
- Never leave your pet in the car: A few minutes in a car on a hot day can be deadly. The sun and heat can raise the temperature of the inside of a car up to 120 degrees. Cracking the windows doesn’t help. If you have errands to run or go somewhere where you can’t take your pet, leave her home.
- Protect your pet from the sun: Animals can get sunburned too. They experience the same discomfort too of peeling skin, pain, and can be prone to skin cancer. Keep walks between 10am to 4pm short and talk to your vet about pet-safe sunblocks that can be applied to the tips of ears, skin around the lips, and tip of the nose. Never use sunscreen that is for humans.
- Exercise during the cooler parts of the day: walks should be at a gentle pace and shorter during the hottest part of the day. Running, playing, and romping should happen during the cooler parts of the day such as early mornings and evenings. If your pet seems exhausted, let her relax and call the play time done. Take a slow walk before heading back into the car or sit outside for a bit. A hot car can feel stifling to a dog that is already panting and tired. Cool off the car and let your dog catch her breath before driving home.
- Heatstroke can be fatal: If your dog seems to be suffering from heatstroke, the body temperature must be brought down. If your pet seems to be suffering from heatstroke, lower the body temperature. Wet towels soaked in cool water can help and should be applied to the hairless areas of the ears, foot pads, and belly. Keep your dog calm and bring her to the vet immediately.
Image from PBFingers.com