The summer is such a fun time, whether you’re at the beach, grilling in the backyard, or taking evening walks with your pup. However, the heat can be dangerous for your pets if not managed appropriately. Here’s six easy things you can do to make sure that the summer is just as much fun for your dog as it is for you!
If you leave your dog outside during the day, make sure they have access to fresh water and shade.
If you feel hot outside, just imagine about how hot it is for your dog – they wear fur coats all year long and need a way to cool off. Giving them shade and an unlimited supply of fresh water will help them regulate their temperature and stay comfortable in the heat. Some dogs even enjoy splashing in kiddie pools!
Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long or heavy coats to keep them cool.
Dogs that have been shaved and that spend large amounts of time outside may need sunscreen to keep them from sun burning (just make sure it’s approved for use on pets!)
Take walks during the cooler hours of the day (early morning or late at night).
If you do have to walk in the heat of the day, try to stay off of hot surfaces like sidewalk or asphalt because these surfaces can burn your dog’s paws.
Never leave your dog in the car even in shade or with the windows cracked.
Even in nice weather, the temperature inside of a parked car can skyrocket, making it a very dangerous environment for your dog. In Johnson county, anyone who leaves their pet in an unattended vehicle is subject to being fined a hefty sum. This chart shows how quickly the temperature in a car rises. Rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t leave your child in it, don’t leave your pet in it!
Photo courtesy of the AVMA
Keep an eye out for heat stress.
The symptoms of heat stress are as follows:
- Anxiousness, restlessness and agitation
- Excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Very bright red tongue, very bright or very pale gums
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
If your dog shows signs of heat stress, remove them from the heat and begin cooling them with water by using a water hose or putting them in the bathtub. Immediately contact your veterinarian.
Make sure plants in your garden or yard are safe for pets.
There are tons of plants that are toxic to animals. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your landscaping! Just keep an eye on your dog to ensure that they don’t consume any parts of the toxic plants, which are listed here, or avoid planting them altogether. Additionally, ensure that your fertilizer, herbicides, and insecticides are kept out of reach.
These six steps should help you keep your pet happy and healthy during the hottest months of the year!