How To Manage Your Dogs When It’s Hot
The summer months can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—for pets and people. It’s difficult enough simply to cope with these rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity, but things really get tough in those areas that are hit with the double blow of intense heat and storm-caused power outages, sometimes with tragic results.
If you’re planning to spend time outdoors with your dog, We’ve got some amazing tips on how to cool down a dog in the summer heat. Today we will talk about how you can help your dogs to survive the heat and stay safe this summer.
Practice Basic Summer Safety Practices
NEVER leave your pets in a parked car. Not even for a minute! Not even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Learn how to help a pet left inside a hot car by taking action or calling for help.
Watch For The Signs Of Heatstroke
Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke
- Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
- Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them.
- Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
- Take them directly to a veterinarian.
Limit Exercise & Play On Hot Days
Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust the intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.
Fans Are Only Backups
Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And fans don’t cool off pets as effectively as they do people.
Keep your pet from overheating indoors or out with a cooling body wrap, vest or mat. Soak these products in cool water, and they’ll stay cool (but usually dry) for up to three days. If your dog doesn’t find baths stressful, see if they enjoy a cooling soak.