We are right in the middle of summer, and with summer weather comes some pretty extreme days of heat. That is why it is important to understand some dog safety tips when it comes to hot weather.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t react the same way to the hot weather that we do when it comes to cooling down. That is why it is important to understand how to keep your dog cool and how to tell when they are overheating.
These tips will help you to keep your dog safe without having to lock them indoors all summer long. Keep reading to find out what safety tips you should be utilizing this summer!
1. Don’t Leave Them Outside
When the summer months roll around, it is very easy to let your dog outside so they can sunbathe all day. Dogs love warm weather and often enjoy not being in a patchy ray of sun.
The reality is that this can be quite dangerous for your dog if the weather is quite warm. Even if the day is relatively mild, spending too much time in the sun is not good for your dog.
For one thing, it is important to remember that even dogs can become sunburnt just like humans can. You don’t want them exposed to sunlight for excessive amounts of time as this increases the risk.
Animals are also not aware of the dangers of heat stroke as we humans are. Because of this, your dog may not realize they are overheating as they are enjoying themselves outdoors.
If you want to let your dog outside, only let them outside for 10 to 15 minutes during the hottest parts of the day. Once it gets cooler in the evening, they can spend more time outside with supervision.
2. Provide Fresh Water
Staying hydrated is just as important for animals as it is for humans. This becomes 10 times more important when the weather is hot.
Your dog is much more likely to become sick if they haven’t gotten enough water throughout the day. Because of this, you want to make sure your dog has constant access to fresh and cool water.
You may even want to add a second bowl of water to your home or add a bowl of water outside. If you are traveling with your dog, make sure you bring water and a bowl for them whenever you stop.
If you struggle to get your dog to drink enough water, there are certain ways around this. You can add a little low-sodium chicken broth to their water bowl to make the water seem more appealing.
Putting ice cubes in the water can also be tempting enough to get them to drink more throughout the day.
3. Watch the Humidity
A lot of dog owners do not realize that humidity also has an impact on dogs. When you combine heat and humidity, this makes them much more susceptible to high temperatures.
Because of this, the weather doesn’t have to be extremely hot for it to be dangerous. Dogs pant in hot weather because it helps to evaporate moisture, cooling their body down.
When it is humid, there is a high amount of moisture already present in the air. This results in them not being able to evaporate as much moisture, keeping their body temperature high.
4. Limit Excess Activity
During the summer months, a lot of dog owners naturally want to keep their dogs active. But when it comes to summer heat, you have to be very intentional about this.
The first thing to remember is that you need to avoid the hottest parts of the day. For most parts, this is late morning to early evening when the sun is shining brightest.
You can play and be active with your dog early in the morning or late in the evening to help them get their exercise. Playing indoors is a great way to keep your dogs active without exposing them to the worst of the summer heat.
5. Keep Them Groomed
It is easy for us to forget how susceptible dogs are to the weather. One reason for this is that dogs have a fur coat, insulating them more all year round.
This is why a lot of dogs tend to shed more during summer, as they do not need so much insulation. It is also a good idea to make sure you are brushing your dog as frequently as possible.
This will help to lighten their coat so that they stay a bit cooler in the warm weather. You can also take your dog to get groomed and cut to a shorter length so that they can stay cooler for longer.
Keep in mind that you do not want your dog cut too close since this will leave their skin vulnerable. Doing this can increase their risk of getting sunburnt if they are exposed to sunlight.
6. Leave Them at Home
The number one rule dog owners need to remember when it comes to dog safety tips is location. You may want to bring your dog with you wherever you go, but it just isn’t safe in summer.
At some point, you will most likely have to go somewhere and leave your dog in the vehicle. This is extremely unsafe as vehicles overheat and are much hotter than the outside temperature.
Even leaving the windows cracked is not nearly enough to keep your dog cool in the vehicle. It also isn’t safe to leave your vehicle running without anyone inside, as someone could steal your vehicle and your dog.
That is why you should only take your pet with you if someone else is there to supervise them.
7. Provide Cool Spaces
Keeping your dog out of the sun isn’t enough when it comes to the worst of the summer heat. That is why it is important to make sure your home is also kept at a reasonable temperature.
If your home has air-conditioning, this isn’t something you will need to think about very much. But if you don’t have AC, you want to make sure your dog has cool places to go to if they are hot.
You could have fans going as well as a window AC unit in one of the bedrooms. Because dogs don’t sweat, it is a little harder for them to cool down just from air circulating, so an AC is always the better option.
8. Avoid Hot Surfaces
When the sun comes out, it starts to heat up everything that is in sight. Something dog owners have to remember is how the ground heats up during summer.
Even if the weather doesn’t seem extremely hot, the ground still may be too hot for your dog. You should always test it by laying your palm on the ground to see if it is too hot to touch.
If it is uncomfortably hot, it is not safe for your dog’s paws. It is ideal if you can walk your dog on grass or dirt instead of asphalt or concrete.
9. Give Them Cooling Treats
There are a lot of dog safety tips you can use to help your dog stay safe and summer. One great option is to give your dog cooling treats to cool them from the inside out.
You could make homemade doggy popsicles that also serve as a form of entertainment. Another easy option is to give your dog ice cubes to chew on that also help them to stay hydrated.
If your dog is on the pickier side, you can throw in a few dog treats into the ice cubes to tempt them. You could even create CBD Peanut Butter popsicles that are delicious and calming!
Dog Safety Tips: What to Do If Your Dog Overheats
Sometimes in extreme heat, dogs can still overheat even if you are trying to be safe. That is why it is important that you keep an eye out for your dog as a precautionary measure.
Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting and rapid breathing. They may also start to drawl and have hot skin and red gums.
If you notice this in your dog, here are a few things you should do to try to cool them down.
If your dog is outside, immediately move them indoors where it is cooler. Take them to a part of the house that is the coolest and make a bed for them to lie in.
Don’t blow cool air directly on your dog, as this can shock their system after overheating.
You also want to make sure you have provided your dog with room-temperature water that is easily accessible. Don’t force them to drink but provide the option.
You can also give them a few ice cubes if you think that will be more appealing.
Cool Their Extremities
You can try to help your dog cool down by wetting a washcloth with cold water. Rub their ears and paws with this washcloth to help bring their temperature down slowly.
You can also dampen a towel and drape it over them to help them cool down. Make sure you replace it every 10 to 15 minutes as it heats up.
Never use extremely cold water on your dog, as this will shock them if they are overheated.
Contact Your Vet
If you believe your dog is having a heatstroke, you need to immediately seek vet care. You most likely have access to a pet urgent care where you can take your dog without an appointment.
You should also contact your dog’s vet to let them know what has happened so that they can give you further instructions.
Keeping your dog safe in the summer heat should be one of your main priorities. Another way to make sure your pet stays healthy is to provide them with the best nutrition, like these Soft and Chewy Bacon Dog Treats.