Temperatures are soaring this summer and many parts of the country are experiencing drought conditions. The heat and dry conditions can affect your dog just as much as it does you. Following a few simple guidelines can help your pet weather the heat.
Make sure your dog has access to shade.
Though they can’t escape the temperature of the air, sitting in the sun can rapidly increase your dog’s temperature. Provide a shady spot for your dog to escape the heat.
Make sure your dog has plenty of water.
Just like humans, dogs get thirsty when its hot outside and it’s important that they keep hydrated. Change the water every day to make sure it is clean and fresh and place it in the shade so it doesn’t get too hot to drink.
Never leave your dog in a parked car.
The temperature in a closed car can rise rapidly, even if the windows are cracked. Think oven temperatures. Don’t cook your dog – never leave them in a parked car.
Don’t shave your dog.
Even though all that hair can look hot, it actually helps to keep your dog insulated – meaning cool in hot temperatures and warm in cool temperatures. Also, a dog’s skin is sensitive to the sun and can get sunburned if exposed. We brush out our dogs more often in the summer to remove excessive fur – which they seem to really like.
Wait until it’s cooler to walk your dog.
Even on hot days, pets need exercise, but try to limit the activity to the early morning or late evening hours, when the temperature isn’t as high.
If your dog is older, be more aware of the effect of heat on them.
Belle is close to 12 or 13 years old (best guess here), and as a result, she is more strongly affected by hot weather. When possible, we bring her inside the house when the temperatures hit high 90’s or low 100’s, like they have been this summer.
As always, talk to your vet if your pet is showing signs of heat problems or if you notice any behavior that concerns you.
To learn about the symptoms of heat stroke and dehydration in dogs, visit the WebMD pets section.