The summer heat can bring with it a totally new set of risks for your pet. Heat related conditions are totally real and common in canines. Injuries, sickness and death due to extreme heat are almost always preventable. Here are some tips to keep your dog cool and out of harm’s way in the dog days of summer.
Do walk your dog in the evening, or early morning when it is not too hot and your pet will not suffer from heat related conditions. Your dog will quickly get dehydrated in the heat and the pavement can get painfully hot on their paws. If you have no choice but to take your dog out during the heat, don’t stay out for long and take frequent stops for water. Stay in the shade as much as feasible and pay serious attention to your dog for indications of suffering.
Do maintain proper grooming. Your pet will be much more comfortable and less subject to heat related illness if they’ve a nice cool haircut. If you have a long-haired dog, a long, ungroomed coat can feel a bit like wearing a parka in the middle of the summer. On the flip-side, be cautious not to trim the fur too short or your dog can get sunburned.
Do be looking out for insects, especially those that bite and sting. Many dogs will chase bees and wasps and end up on the wrong end of a stinger. Keep an emergency first aid kit on hand and supervise as much as possible when out of doors. Fleas and ticks are particularly present in the summer months so it’s really important to be up to date heartworm shots and flea and tick prevention.
Don’t leave your dog alone in the vehicle. This is a big no-no and yet each year you hear of more cases of dogs suffering and dying due to this sort of failure. It’s a generally known fact it takes only minutes for your parked vehicle to turn into an oven. Even with the windows cracked it can be exceedingly unhealthy and even lethal for your pet. It is smart to leave your dog at home in the air conditioning. If you have to go out without your pet leave them in a cool part of the house. You can use extra wide pet gates or freestanding pet gates to create a penned area or block a wide opening in your house to keep your dog cool.
Don’t let your dog ride in the back of a pick-up truck. This is dangerous for your pet at any time of year. A single bump or jolt can send your dog flying, resulting in injury or death. In the heat of the summer, the sun beating down on your dog, exposed in the back can be deadly. It is never worth the risk.