These hot, muggy days of summer can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for our pets. As the mercury rises each summer, pet-owners everywhere want to know the best ways to keep their pets safe and comfortable in the heat. We've put together 6 easy tips for keeping your dog cool and comfortable.
Shade and Water
This one is basic, but sometimes it's easy to overlook: Your pet needs access to shade and fresh water all the time, and especially when temperatures soar. For outdoor animals, make sure they're able to move around to get out of the direct sun. Even better, consider bringing outdoor pets inside on the hottest days.
Don't Leave Your Pet Alone in the Car - Ever
Even with the windows cracked, a car is no place for a dog if you're not there. Pets die every year from the dangerous spike in temperature that can happen even on a relatively mild summer day inside a vehicle. Watch this video to see just how quickly interior temperatures can become deadly for a dog left alone.
Keep an Eye on the Humidity
Higher humidity makes it more difficult for dogs to cool themselves, since they release heat by panting, as well as through their footpads. Keep an extra eye on your dog as the humidity rises.
Fans Won't Cut It
Since dogs don't sweat, a fan won't do much to help your pet beat the heat.
If you're trying to keep your dog comfortable, don't rely on a fan as the only thing to cool them.
Be Smart About Exercise
Dogs will rarely say no to a romp in the park, but it's important to check the temperature before taking Fido outside to play. Prevent your dog from over-exerting herself on the hottest days. Keeping walks and outdoor playtime to the cooler early morning and evening hours is better for beating the heat, and also saves your pet's sensitive paws from the blistering heat of sidewalks and asphalt that's baking in the sun.
Dogs Deserve a [cool] Treat!
Yes, dogs love frozen snacks just as much as we do!
Watch for Heatstroke
Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke in pets. The Humane Society of the United States has great information on recognizing and treating heatstroke so that you can act quickly.
Warning Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs:
- heavy panting
- glazed eyes
- rapid heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- excessive thirst
- lack of coordination
- profuse salivation
- deep red or purple tongue
HIGH RISK: Pets are at more risk for heatstroke if they are very young or very old, overweight, no used to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory problems. Breeds like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and others with short muzzles are also more susceptible to heat.
Do you think your dog may have heatstroke? Act fast!
- Move your dog into the shade or to an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to the dog's head, neck, and chest, or run cool water over your dog's body.
- Allow your dog to drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take your dog to be seen by a vet right away.
Get more tips:
Check out our Pinterest board for more tips on keeping your pet safe and happy all summer long!