The ‘dog days of summer’ can be your pet’s worst enemy. In fact, experts estimate that hundreds of dogs die every summer from overheating and heat stroke. If you think it is hot outside, just imagine how they feel with their paws on the baking cement or stuck in a boiling parked car. If overheated, a dog can die of heatstroke in minutes. So here are 6 easy steps to protect your dog in summer.
1. Never EVER leave your dog in the car
When it is only 22 degrees, a parked car can reach 47 degrees within the hour. Every minute you leave a dog in a hot car, they are closer to brain or liver injury, which can result in a painful death. Many people are still unaware of the dangers of leaving a pet in a parked car. This veterinarian shows how quickly the temperature rises in a parked car on a typical summer day. If you see a dog locked in a hot car, you have the legal right to release and save him.
2. Keep them inside during the hottest hours
An easy way to keep you pooch cool is to make sure they are avoiding the hottest times of the day. Let them enjoy their afternoon nap and postpone their walk until the twilight hours. You won’t have to worry about overheating if they are inside with fresh drinking water.
3. Run inside with a dog treadmill
Dogs have a primal instinct to move, and on a hot day spent inside, that need is left unmet. You can look online for some of the most popular dog treadmill options so that no matter the weather, your dog’s need for movement and for exercise will be met.
4. Shade and water
Make sure that when your dog is outside on a hot day they have access to shade and fresh drinking water. Just a few minutes out on a scorching day can be difficult for smaller and older dogs, so it is important to provide a cool resting place for your pet to rehydrate. If you have a backyard, your dog will love shade from the trees. You can also use an umbrella or tarps to create shade on your patio. There are many ways to protect your dog in summer and to make your backyard more dog friendly.
5. Stay off hot surfaces
When walking your furry friends, try to keep them off the hot ground. Pavement, metal, and asphalt can burn the soft spots on the bottom of your dog’s paw. Direct them toward the grass and keep your walks short on hot days.
You can also purchase dog booties online and at most pet stores that will slip over their paws to avoid these burns. If you have any doubts about whether the ground is too hot for your dog, take your shoes off and try to stand on the hot surface. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them.
6. Avoid sunburn
Yes, both you and your dog should have sunscreen on during the hottest days. Many dogs with short or light coats can suffer from sunburn, which just like in humans, can be very painful and result in skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about what precautions you should take when it comes to protecting your dog’s skin from sunburn.
Following these 6 simple tips will go a long way to protect your dog in summer heat. There are a lot of products you can find in most pet stores and websites that will help you along the fight against heatstroke, but you can protect your pet from the heat without breaking the bank. Keep them cool and inside with plenty of drinking water, keep them off hot surfaces, and avoid overworking them while they are in the sun. Remember, if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them!