Summer has arrived, lake time has come. Summer days are a great opportunity for dogs to have fun in the sun but the hot summer weather comes along with the heat-related dangers.
- Not drinking enough water
All year long, but especially in the heat of summer, it is important that your dog has regular access to fresh water. Because the risk of dehydration of dogs increases with the heat of summer, make sure your dog stays hydrated while you go out to enjoy the warm weather. Always bring water for your dog and have a water jug to get out and out, but also for the neighbors’ walk. Take breaks often to give your dog a chance to drink. Soak the bandanna in water and freeze it overnight. Cover it around your dog’s neck before walking.
At home, increase the amount of water you give your dog, especially if you are not at home all day. A dog water source is best, as it provides plenty of clean water throughout the day.
- Coat Trimming can actually be dangerous
A fur coat may look hot on a hot summer day, but your dog’s fur actually keeps them cool. It can be a temptation to give your pup a cool trim or shave, doing so can be dangerous.
People often think that double-stranded species suffer the most when it is hot because of the abundance of coats. However, this is not the case. Their coat captures the air closest to the skin and maintains the same temperature as their ideal body temperature. Also, if you shave a dog’s skin, you not only increase your risk of heatstroke, but also sunburn.
Dogs with hair instead of fur like Poodles and Bichons can be shaved in the summer, but keep enough coat to protect the dog’s skin from the sun.
- Walks in Hot Pavement
Make sure the road is not too hot for your dog in the summer.
Walking is a great way to keep your dog physically and mentally fit, but in the summer months they come with some health problems. Emmy Award-winning veterinarian Dr Jeff Werber warns that dog parents should pay special attention to the pollen and heat. “Remember, even in the dark, a paved area retains heat and can damage your dog’s pads,” he said.
Not sure if it’s too hot? Put your hand on the pavement. If you have to pull your hand because it is too hot for you, then it is too hot with your dog’s paws.
Arrange for your dog to walk early, afternoon or evening, and always avoid getting your dog out of the heat of the day. If you have to take your dog in the heat of the day invest in a boot to protect your dog’s sensitive pipes from the hot side.
When driving with your dog in the summer, keep the air always safe and comfortable with your dog. If the car is too hot for you, then it is too hot for your dog.
Cars are dangerous places for dogs in the heat of summer, and dogs should never be left in a parked car, even in the shade or in a parking garage. Even with broken windows, temperatures inside the car increase rapidly and can kill your dog quickly.
- Leaving dogs outside
Increasingly, cities and districts are developing new ways to protect dogs that prevent them from being left out in the cold or hot temperatures. In Pennsylvania, for example, people leaving dogs outside in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit could face heavy fines or even prison time.
If for some reason your dog should be left out, Dr. Werber advises that your dog should be given free access to water. In addition, your dog should be able to get a natural shade or a consistent shade made for an awning or other structure.
- Brachycephalic dogs – Vulnerability To Heat
While hot weather can be dangerous for all dogs, there are some species that are particularly vulnerable to heat due to respiratory problems – dogs with pushed faces (brachycephalic dogs) such as: Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bulldogs, Shih Tz Pekingese, Affenpinscher, Japanese Chins, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos and Brussels Griffons.
These dogs are best kept indoors in the cool air during the hot summer months. Pekingese and Lhasa Apso have more necks than other species and are prone to pharyngeal stenosis. This can make breathing and shortness of breath very difficult, which is why you often hear them ‘snoring.’ These types tend to be extremely hot.
Before departure, check airlines for any animal restrictions during the warmer months.
Watch out for heatstroke in dogs during hot weather.
Dogs are panting for cooling, but persistent panting can be a sign that your dog is hot and anxious. If your dog is hot, panting constantly, slows down, looks very tired and does not want to move, the dog may be suffering from heatstroke, which can be dangerous.
If you think your dog has heatstroke, take it to a veterinarian immediately. While on the go, putting water in your dog’s mouth to keep it moist and trying to soak the feet and body, which should help lower your dog’s body temperature. Hot water in the room is the best – you don’t want to cool them too quickly.
If you have a pool, teach your dog to get in and out safely, so that he does not drown trying to get out. Dogs in the ponds should also wear a canine life vest. Brachycephalic dogs, puppies, the elderly, dogs with short legs and long backs and chest dogs, in particular, should always wear a canine life vest.