Summer is here, and with it comes fun, sun and high temperatures! Whether you live in the city or spend your days down the shore, here are some tips from ACCT Philly to help ensure your pets have a safe, happy and cool summer 🙂
1.) Never leave your dog in a parked car. Even in the shade with windows cracked, temperatures inside the vehicle can quickly climb to dangerous levels. Dogs can suffer from heat stroke, organ failure and even death. Play it safe and leave your dog at home.
2.) Access to water and shade. Dogs can’t sweat like humans, they rely on panting to cool down. Without access to water, this can quickly lead to dehydration. Make sure your pet has plenty of clean, cool water. Try adding ice-cubes on particularly hot days. Is your dog a pool puppy? Encourage them to cool-down by setting up a baby pool – your dog will love it! Shade is another important factor in keeping cool. Tarps and trees provide great shade as they don’t block air flow.
3.) Monitor for signs of heat stroke. Know the signs and be vigilant in looking for warnings signs. Catching heat stroke early can be the difference between life and death for a suffering pooch. Things to watch for include shortness of breath, heavy or difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, weakness or collapse, dark red mucus membranes (gums), dilated pupils, and elevated body temperature. More progressed heat stroke symptoms can also include bloody diarrhea, vomiting and seizure.
What to do in case of heat stroke: Call your vet or an emergency clinic immediately. In the meantime, help lower your dog’s body temperature by running cool to mid-temperature (not cold) water over their body.
4.) Keep outside walks and playtime short. Avoid spending prolonged periods of time outside with your dog, bathroom break walks are perfectly reasonable on hot days! Instead of long walks or a trip to the dog park, offer your dog some fun, mentally stimulating activities they can play inside the comfort (and cool!) of your home. Stuffing a KONG with canned food and freezing it can provide hours of entertainment. You can also check out these dog “puzzles” on our Petango store.
5.) Appropriate grooming. Research appropriate summer grooming for your particular breed/mix of dog and keep their hair as short as you safely can. Remember, not all dogs should be buzzed. The fur of double-coated breeds/mixes such as huskies actually provides protection from the sun and should never be completely shaved.
6.) Keep off black asphalt. Asphalt traps heat more readily than cement or concrete and can burn a dog’s paw pads. Avoid walking your dog on asphalt if possible. Any hot surface can burn your dog’s paws, however, so it’s best to stick to natural substrates like grass and woodchips. You can also consider purchasing all-season dog booties to help protect sensitive paws.