It’s summer! Which means you and your pup get to enjoy soaking up some sun and taking part in your favorite outdoor activities. Whether it’s a trip to the park or a trip to the beach, every dog has a “happy place” they love to visit in the summertime. With all of the fun in the sun, it’s important to keep your dog safe during hot weather. Here are some tips for keeping your pup feeling cool and comfortable this summer!
Keep them hydrated
A good rule of thumb is for your dog to drink at least one ounce of water per pound of body weight everyday. Owners should set up water bowls in both outdoor and indoor environments to ensure their pup stays hydrated at all times. Fill these bowls with cool water and keep them close by so that your pup can access them easily.
If you’re worried your dog may be dehydrated, the easiest way to tell is to test their skin elasticity. Loss of skin elasticity is a clear sign of dehydration. Simply hold the skin in between their neck & shoulder blades and gently lift. Then, let it go and see how quickly the skin returns to its natural state. If the skin immediately falls back into place, that’s a good sign that they are well hydrated. If the skin takes a few moments to go down, that is a tell tale sign of dehydration.
Give them time in the shade
Our dogs love running around and playing outside, but it’s important to know your dog’s limits and to give them a much needed break after some outdoor playtime. Help them to cool off by providing a shaded area to relax in. Just a 10 minute break from the sun will make a big difference and help to keep them from overheating.
Simply pausing under a tree during your walk or taking a seat under a shaded picnic area at the park are examples of easy ways to take a break and cool off. If you’ll be leaving them in your yard for an extended period of time, provide them with a dog house to lay in during the hot hours of the day. Too much time in the sun can cause heat stroke, which is extremely dangerous and can even be deadly.
Avoid hot sidewalks
Always test the sidewalk temperature before heading out on that mid-day walk. Even with thick pads on their feet, dogs can end up with severe burns that require medical attention from hot sidewalks and asphalt. To test the sidewalk temperature, simply place your hand on the sidewalk. If your hand feels uncomfortable after more than 10 seconds, the surface is too hot for your dog to walk on.
If it’s too hot, spend some time in the grass instead. It’s not worth taking the risk with hot sidewalks, burned pads are extremely painful and can take an extended amount of time and veterinary care to heal. An easy way to avoid hot sidewalk temperatures is to beat the heat and enjoy a morning walk! Change your walking schedule to take place during the earlier hours of the day and sidewalk temperatures will be no problem at all.
Know the Symptoms of Heat Stroke
All of these tips are extremely important in protecting your pup from heat stroke. You may only associate heat stroke with dogs left in vehicles, but it is a danger in any setting with high temperatures. If your dog has excessive panting or drooling, vomiting, dry nose, or rapid heartbeat, these could be early signs of heat stroke. Serious symptoms of heat stroke include internal bleeding, seizures, and muscle tremors. If your dog is showing serious signs of heat stroke, it’s important to get them to a vet immediately for care.
It’s important to be careful with the summer heat, but don’t let the extra summer precautions keep you from letting your dog enjoy the summer fun. Little Friends Pet Sitting & Dog Walking has provided professional pet care to the Charlotte, NC area for over 10 years. If you’re looking for trusted care over the summer, schedule a dog walker to ensure your pup can safely enjoy those summer days.