Keep your pets safe and cool this summer with these simple summer safety practices!
1. Don’t Forget About Humidity
Animals pant to remove moisture from their lungs via evaporation in order to expel heat. If the atmospheric humidity is too high, the evaporation won’t occur and your dog will be unable to cool himself.
If your dog seems lethargic and overheated, a quick way to assess the danger is to take his temperature. Your dog’s normal temperature should not be allowed to exceed 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If your dog’s temperature is close to or higher than this, immediately administer treatment for heat stroke:
Move your pet into the shade or air conditioning; apply ice packs or cold, wet towels to his head, neck and chest, or run cool (not cold) water over him. Let him drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Once his temperature is reduced, take him directly to the vet.
2. Limit Outdoor Exercise
On the hottest days, limit your dog’s outdoor exposure to early morning or dusk hours. On walks, always carry water to prevent him from dehydrating. Owners of the following types of dogs should take extra care:
– Dogs with white fur, which have a greater susceptibility to skin diseases.
– Dogs such as Shih Tzus, bulldogs, pugs and boxers, which have what’s known as brachycephalic skulls—these pups tend to have greater difficulty breathing in any weather. Click here for a list of dog breeds with brachycephalic skulls.
– Any dogs with shorter noses may have trouble taking full breaths in muggy weather, and should be kept out of the summer heat.
3. Provide Ample Shade and Water
If your backyard or play area is unshaded and your dog is spending hours outside during peak heat hours, construct an artificial shade for him. And remember that you may need to refill his water more often than usual on the hottest days.
Remember: the best way to prevent heat stroke is to not keep your pet outside for any great length of time between the hours of 11am and 7pm.
4. Give Him Cooling Treats
Do you have sweaters or other clothing for your dog to wear in the colder months? You can turn these into DIY cold packs by soaking them in cool water. You may also consider looking for a recipe for a frozen treat like a peanut butter popsicle.
5. NEVER Leave Him Alone in the Car
We hope we don’t have to say this. Even on a mild day with the windows cracked, the interior of your car can heat to 120 degrees in mere minutes. DO NOT EVER leave your dog in the car alone.