May 30, 2011
Summer has arrived, and that means plenty of fun in the sun with your dog. However, the heat of the day can be harmful to your pet’s health. Since dogs have a higher internal temperature than humans, they can get hot really fast. So while you would love to do some summer outdoor activities together with your dog, it’s important to remember to protect him from the heat. Not being careful can lead to heat exhaustion for your canine companion.
So what are some of the things you can do to keep your dog safe during the summer?
Never in the car
For starters, never leave your dog in your car. More dogs have died of heat exhaustion in parked vehicles than from any other situation. Cars can get extremely hot in a short amount of time, so leave your pooch at home instead.
Of course, you will still have to take your dog out to exercise, but pick cooler times of the day to do so. People love running with their pets and usually think that canines have no difficulty dealing with the heat, which is completely untrue. Decrease the risk of heat exhaustion by running during the cooler times of the morning or evening. Avoid hot pavements as well as they can burn your dog’s paw pads.
Always bring water and a collapsible water bowl on walks and hikes to keep your dog hydrated. You can also wrap a wet bandanna or cool pad around his neck before going outside to help him stay cooler and prevent heat exhaustion. If you’re going to be out in the sun with your dog, apply sunscreen to his nose. Since this part of the body is not protected by hair, it is very vulnerable to sunburn.
Another way to keep heat exhaustion at bay is to brush your pet on a regular basis, especially if he has a thick coat. Also, when the temperature peaks, keep your dog in a cool and safe place. Give him lots of water, and see to it that there is always a fresh supply at home which he can easily access.