Heat Safety And Your Dog: Keeping Cool
The summer heat can bring with it a whole new set of perils for your pet. Heat related conditions are very real and common in canines. Injury, sickness and death caused by extreme heat are nearly always avoidable. 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’s not too hot and your pet will not suffer with heat related conditions. Your dog will rapidly get dehydrated in the heat and the pavement can get painfully hot on their paws. If you haven’t got any choice but to take your dog out in the heat, do not stay out for long and take frequent stops for water. Stay in the shade as much as possible and pay close attention to your dog for evidence of suffering.
Do maintain regular grooming. Your pet will be much more comfortable and less sensitive to heat related sickness if they’ve a nice cool haircut. If you happen to have a long-haired dog, a long, ungroomed coat can feel just like wearing a parka in the middle of the summer. On the flip-side, be careful not to trim the fur too short or your dog can get sunburnt.
Do be on the look-out for insects, especially those that bite and sting. Many dogs will chase bees and wasps and end up on the business end of a stinger. Keep a first aid kit on hand and supervise as much as possible when outside. Fleas and ticks are particularly present during the summer months so it’s really important to stay current with heartworm shots and flea and tick prevention.
Do not leave your dog alone in the car. This is a gigantic no-no and yet each year you hear about more cases of dogs suffering and dying due to this sort of failure. It’s a widely known fact it takes only minutes for your parked car to turn into an oven. Even with the windows cracked it can be exceedingly uncomfortable and even lethal for your pet. It’s best 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 freestanding, custom or extra-wide 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 risky for your pet at any time of the year. A single bump or jolt can send your dog flying, causing injury or death. In the heat of the summer, the sun beating down on your dog, exposed in the back can be lethal. It is never worth the risk.