For many of us, summertime means there’s a few more hours in the day to spend some quality times with some of our favorite family members: our dogs. When the kids are out of school and playing outside hopefully, if your pet is well and able, they’re outside playing right along with them.
Just remember, dogs need to be monitored for heat exhaustion and dehydration, just like your human children.
Here are a few tips for keeping your dog cool and healthy during the dog days of summer:
- ¬†Let’s start with the obvious: If you’re PCSing this summer, and your dog is riding shotgun, there’s a fair chance s/he will be spending a great deal of time in the car. Check out our post on traveling with pets, and please avoid leaving your pet in a hot car!
- If you have absolutely no choice, do the following: try to keep all windows and vents open as wide as you possibly can to avoid theft and your dog escaping, leave water, and check on them at least every ten minutes. Remember, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes on an 85 degree day. Within 30 minutes or less, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.
- It might be a good time to get Fido a haircut if it’s a long-haired breed. Some shorter haired breeds may also enjoy a shave and it’ll make grooming easier – especially if they’ll be accompanying you on a vacation or move.
- Just like your non-furry kids, watch how much exercise they get during the peak heat and sun hours of the day. If they must be out and about, make sure there’s shade (pets can get sunburns too!) as well as water cool water available that is refreshed frequently.
- Watch out for humidity – it’s exhausting to dogs too.
- Remember, not all breeds can take the heat. You know your dog best, and it’s wise to encourage a rest when you see them starting to struggle.
¬†Spotting the Dangerous Effects of Heat – When to Call the Vet
- Warning signs: panting with an anxious/starting expression, cannot obey commands, warm/dry skin, rapid fever, vomiting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, wobbly legs.
- Call your vet right away and use the following tips to help your pet.
- What you can do: Lower the body temperature quickly with cool water (not ice!) – either by immersion or by spraying thoroughly with a garden hose. You can also move your dog to a cool place and drape a cool, damp towel around their body. The normal temperature for a dog is about 100¬∞ and 103¬∞F, so if you take their temperature and they hit 104¬∞F, that’s extremely dangerous.
¬†Just for fun
Check out the Humane Socity’s recipe for peanut butter Popsicles for dogs! It’ll cool them right down.
More Pet Tips:
Enjoy your summer with your dog! Woof!
Leaving your pet at home? We know you‚Äôll miss them! Be sure they‚Äôre in the best hands by leaving them with a friend, reputable kennel or consider looking for a pet sitter on SitterCity. Their DOD program is free to join for military families and they list pet sitters.