Summer is a time for spending your days outside and enjoying the weather, and no one likes spending time outside more than our dogs. However, as temperatures rise, we need to be vigilant about how our pets are reacting to the heat. There are a number of things you should keep in mind in the summer months to keep your dog safe. In this article we’ll break down a few basic hot weather tips for dogs.
Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car Unattended
We’ve likely all seen stories about dogs dying after being left alone in a car in the sweltering summer heat. Despite the pervasive nature of stories like this, every year we continue to see people make this terrible choice. On particularly hot days, it only takes a few minutes for a car to become unbearably hot and deadly. Some people think that if they crack a window or two, that will be enough to mitigate the heat, but it actually won’t do much to keep the car from getting hot.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has a chart that breaks down just how hot it can get in a car in a short amount of time.
Keep Your Home Cool for Your Pets
While it will certainly take longer for the heat to make your home as hot as it does your car, it is still important to keep your house cool for your dog. Some people will turn their air conditioning off when they leave the house, but if you have a pet at home you are endangering their safety. A good alternative to turning the A/C off completely is leaving it on a more conservative temperature. Also, try to reduce the heat produced by sunlight through the windows by closing curtains.
Make Sure Your Dog Has Access to Shade and Water
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, which can lead to heatstroke. Have water readily available in the house. Most people usually just leave a bowl of water out so they can always get a drink when they need one. If you’re taking your dog out for a walk on a hot day, make sure to bring water with you, even if you are only leaving the house for a few minutes.
Be Aware of Your Dog’s Tolerance to Heat
Some dog breeds have a higher risk of heat related issues than others. Read up on whether your dog is more at risk in the sun and limit their exercise on excessively hot days. Try to take them for walks in the morning or evening when the heat is not in full force.
By keeping these tips in mind, you and your dog can have fun in the sun all summer in a safe, healthy way.