We all love spending long summer days with our furry friends. But hot weather can also be dangerous for dogs! Because dogs don’t sweat like people do, so it’s hard for them to keep cool when the sun is beating down. Higher temperatures also mean higher risks for more injuries, more skin and ear infections, and a possibility of a heat stroke. To avoid these problems and enjoy the summer season with your dog, here’re some tips to keep in mind.
1. Never leave your pet in the car
Leaving your dog in car is very dangerous. It can take less than 10 minutes to develop heat stroke in dogs and cats inside the hot vehicle. Your best bet is to leave your dog home on warm days. If you’re driving around with your dog in the car, bring water and a water dish and take your dog with you when you leave the car.
2. Know the signs of overheating, which are:
- heavy panting or difficulty breathing
- wobbly legs
- increased heart and respiratory rate
- bloody diarrhea
If your pet shows signs of heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place, give them a drink of water, put a damp towel over their body, and get them to the vet right away. Don’t place your pet in cold water, that can put them into shock.
3. Offer plenty of water and shade
When your dog is outside make sure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water and keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. Dehydration in dogs is a real possibility during the summer. Our dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot. Signs of dehydration include dry gums and excessive drooling.
4. Keep your dog's paws cool
When you are outside, try to keep your pet away from hot surfaces like cement and asphalt. Not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. It’s also not a good idea to drive around with your dog in the bed of a truck, because the hot metal can burn paws.
5. Use sunscreen
Dogs get sunburns too! Especially dogs with light and naturally thin fur. So, it’s important that you use a pet-friendly sunscreen to prevent potential harm caused by licking and ingestion. Apply sunblock to the tips of the ears, nose, belly, and groin areas. Just like people who get sunburnt, dogs also get red skin that is tender to the touch. Other signs of doggy sunburn are constant scratching in tender places accompanied by a whimper and shrinking away when you try to pet him/her. If you suspect your pet has a sunburn, veterinary care is recommended.
6. Groom your pet
If your dog has long hair, get rid of any mats and tangles. It will help keep them cool. But never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
7. Visit your vet
Keep his shots up to date, especially in summer. The parvovirus spreads in hot weather. Summer is the high season for fleas, which spread many diseases, and mosquitoes, which carry heartworm. Get them on regular meds to prevent these pests.