Summer is here. Temperatures are rising, grills are firing and vacations are in tow. We remember to put sunscreen on the kids, and keep our water bottles filled, but sometimes we forget to take care of our fur babies during these hot summer months. Just like for humans, excessive heat exposure resulting in heat exhaustion or heat stroke can be fatal. Every year pets die from inadequate hydration, exposure to excessive temperatures, and lack of shade. We love our pets like family, so it is important to be extra careful to protect them.
Don’t shut off the AC when you leave the house
The house may be cool when you leave early in the morning, and may cool off by the time you get home from work which may cause one to think that the house stayed cool for the duration of the day, however temperatures can significantly increase during the course of the day placing your dog at risk of overheating. One solution is to set your thermostat on automatic at a temperature that is safe and comfortable for your dog, so you know that even when you’re gone during the day, your pup will be protected.
Make sure dogs have plenty of water and shade
Hydration and a place to hide from the heat is instrumental in keeping dogs safe and cool. If dogs like to spend a significant portion of the day outdoors, think of investing in a kiddie pool where they can wade or lay down in the water if they start to get too hot. It is also a good idea to have more than one water bowl outside just in case your pup knocks one over, or gets thirsty and drinks a whole bowl of water before you have a chance to refill it. Make sure your pooch has a dedicated shady space where they can get out of the sun and cool off.
Give your dog a pupsicle
Sometimes when it’s hot outside dogs may be averse to eating as much as they normally do. A creative way to entice dogs into eating is to create a pupsicle. Soak some dry dog food in water, and put it into a stuffable toy like a Kong and place a dental chew in the bottom of the Kong and freeze it. Voila! Pupsicle. Try different recipes and creations, and your dog will love eating it as much as you enjoy making it.
What if your dog isn’t interested in drinking water?
A trick to getting dogs to drink water is to add 1-2 cups of water to dry food so as they’re eating, they can also get some water into their system. Another tip is to add a splash of chicken broth to water which makes hydrating much more appealing.
Avoid intense exercise during the hottest times of day
Aim to exercise early in the morning or later in the evening when air and ground temperatures are cooler. This is safer for you and for your pet.
Avoid cement and asphalt
Sometimes we forget how hot asphalt and cement can be because we wear shoes. Although dog paws are generally more durable than human feet, paws can still easily burn on a hot summer day. Try to walk dogs on grass or dirt to avoid direct contact with hot surfaces. If sidewalk and asphalt is unavoidable invest in doggie boots to provide a barrier between hot surfaces and paws.
Never leave a pet in a hot car even if for a moment
Temperatures in a vehicle increase at a very rapid rate even when windows are cracked. If there is no choice but to leave your pet in the car while running an errand, leave the A/C running on high, and bring a spare car key with you so you can leave your keys in the ignition and have the security of your car being locked and safe.