With temps hitting the mid-nineties and staying there, it can be hard for anyone to find a way to cool down. But even worse, these dog days of summer can make your dog miserable – and even severely ill – if you don’t take the right steps to help your pup stay cool and beat the heat. Here are a few easy ways to ensure your K9 companion can keep cool even as the mercury continues to rise:
Limit Walks to Cooler Times
Almost all dogs live for the moment the leash comes out, but it’s important to limit walks during heavy heatwaves like we’re currently experiencing. Early morning before the sun rises or late night when it’s out of the sky makes for the best options to take your daily constitutional. And be sure to pay special attention to the surfaces you’re walking on – blacktop can get very hot very quickly and result in burns on your pup’s paws.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Dogs don’t sweat as humans do – they pant to reduce their body temps – but it’s still important to make sure they’re properly hydrated in scorching weather. Make sure clean, fresh water is readily available at all times for your dogs to help them stay healthy.
Help Them Stay Cool
Some dogs love water – and an evening run through the sprinkler or in a baby pool can be great ways to keep them active and cool in the hot weather. However, all dogs can benefit from an assist in lowering their body temperature by wrapping them in a cool, wet towel, or placing it on the floor for them to stand or lay on. This simple trick can go a long way towards making sure your animal doesn’t overheat and also works well if you happen to lose power.
Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Overheating
Heat stroke and overheating can happen quickly, so it always helps to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of the condition. The ASPCA recommends looking for the following symptoms: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
If you notice your dog exhibiting any of the above symptoms or acting strange, contact your veterinarian or an emergency vet right away.
Keep Common Sense
Though these are rules you should always observe, it doesn’t hurt to re-familiarize yourself with them in the wake of this heatwave:
- Never leave your dog alone in a car
- Never leave your dog alone near a body of water (even a baby pool!)
- Never leave your dog outside in the heat
- Don’t over-exercise your dog
- When the heat is excessive, keep your dog inside whenever possible
If you follow these tips to ride out the heatwave safely, we’ll all make it to the other side with our best friends – safe and sound.