Summer can be a dangerous time for man’s best friend. When the hottest time of the year rolls around, reports of heat exhaustion rapidly increase in our canine friends. Here are a few tips for keeping your pup happy, comfortable, and safe in the summer heat:
Be aware of the heat and UV index.
Keeping track of the heat index and UV index anytime you are outdoors with your dog is super important in preventing overexposure to the sun and sun damage. Try to keep your dog in an area where shade is easily accessible, and if the UV index is high use a pet friendly sun protectant spray on his or her skin, especially if your dog has fine or white fur. A lot of people don’t realize that dogs can get sun burns too!
Always keep fresh water with you for your dog.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, always make sure to keep fresh water with you for your dog. Offer it to them every half hour or so to make sure they stay well hydrated through the summer heat.
Take caution walking over asphalt, cement, and sand.
Surfaces like asphalt, cement and sand can get extremely hot under the summer sun. Before walking your dog over potentially hot pavement, check the temperature with your hand. Set the back of your hand against the ground for five seconds, and if the temperature is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for her feet. Instead of walking her over it, pick her up and carry her across, or use protective footwear for your dog.
Know the signs of heat exhaustion.
You also want to make sure that you know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration, should they occur. Watch out for excessive panting, fatigue, dry nose, and check the color of your dog’s gums. If his gums are bright red, this is a sign of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If any of these symptoms occur, bring your dog inside immediately and offer him cold water and a comfortable place to rest. If symptoms persist or your dog is unwilling or unable to get up, seek veterinary care immediately.