Wow! Summer is definitely here. As the weather kicks up a notch, the natural tendency is to get outside with your favourite Jack! While spending time outdoors can be a great way to exercise and have fun with your furry friend, it’s important to be aware of protecting them from the heat. Pets also suffer from the same problems as humans do, such as overheating, dehydration and sunburn. By taking a few simple precautions, you can make it a safe and enjoyable summer for you and your dog.
It’s important to keep your dog cool as they are more prone to overheating compared to humans. Keep your dog cool and well hydrated at all times with fresh water. Avoid walks or strenuous physical activity during the hottest times of the day. Save your outdoor time with your dog for early in the morning or in the evening once the sun has set. Every responsible pet owner knows never to leave a dog in the car, even if it’s just for a quick pit stop to the store.
Some early signs of overheating can include excess panting, weakness, confusion, increased salivation, dark red gums, and seizures. If you suspect a heat-induced illness in your dog, gradually lower their body temperature by moving them to the shade or an air-conditioned area. You could also wrap cloths soaked in cool water around their paws, arm pits, and on the back of their head. Trickle small amounts of cool water onto the tongue of a dog that is panting or has collapsed from heat exhaustion. Seek medical attention immediately.
There are a number of products on the market that help keep your dog cool to prevent getting to the point of heat exhaustion. Consider a raised bed to keep airflow under your dog or a bed that can be filled with cool water and stays dry for your dog to rest on. There are also cooling pads (for laying around), vests (that wrap around your dog’s belly), and cooling bandanas and collars filled with nontoxic polymer crystals that expand in water and cool your dog for hours as the water evaporates.
Many people don’t realize that dogs can get sunburn! It’s especially common in pale and short-haired dogs, usually on the bridge of the nose and tips of the ears, as well as the belly and groin area due to reflection from the sidewalk or water if they are playing in a pool. Use sunscreen made specifically for animal use on your dog’s nose and ear tips. Avoid the belly area as they will most likely lick it off.
Also be aware to protect your dog’s paws. Their paws can get burned on sidewalks, asphalt and sand if walked during peak sun and heat. Imagine walking in your bare feet. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog!
Our dogs are a big part of our family so remember to give them the same hot weather care and protection that you would want and they deserve. What are some ways that you keep your dog cool? Share your tips in the comments section above.