The summer heat is nearing its peak, which is great news for those of us that enjoy lounging poolside. But it is a different story for our furry friends. Dogs can overheat quickly, which can become heat stroke or other heat-related illnesses and injuries in the blink of an eye.
Follow these tips to ensure your pup doesn’t get overheated this summer.
Check the Concrete
You’ve likely walked on hot concrete barefoot and immediately lunged for your sandals due to the burning sensation. It’s not much different for your pet. If your pet will be walking on concrete, press your hand to the ground first to test its temperature. Some owners invest in shoes for hot days, while others wait until the heat passes (or take the grassy route!).
Travel With Water
Just like humans, dogs are prone to dehydration, which means they need access to more water than usual when they’re in the heat. If your dog shows signs of dehydration (i.e., they’re tired, their tongue is dry, or they’re drooling excessively), don’t provide too much water too fast. Instead, slowly rehydrate them with smaller amounts of water over time (the amount will vary depending on the size of your pet).
Invest in Cooling Products
Dogs keep themselves cool by sweating through their paws and panting, but on particularly hot days, that may not be enough. Products such as cooling towels and beds help combat the issue by working alongside a dog’s natural cooling mechanisms.
Put Them in the Shade
Whenever the sun is directly overhead, it’s likely to feel much hotter, so removing that element helps keep your pup cool. Additionally, dogs can get sunburn just like humans can. Dog sunscreens are available, though the easiest way to avoid sunburn is to keep them out of the sun for extended periods.
This may feel counterintuitive, but fans are not particularly helpful when it comes to cooling down pups. Fans move air around, but they don’t make it any colder. Because dogs don’t sweat the way humans do, a fan can push hot air on your dog, making them even hotter. Temperatures in the 70s and low 80s are relatively safe, but anything above that can pose a risk for your pup.
A dog having a heatstroke may have little urine and experience seizures. Heatstroke can cause death in dogs.
Cool your dog down immediately if they are experiencing these symptoms. You can start by setting up a cooling system by spraying them with cool water. You can also wrap them in a wet, cool towel. Give your dog some cool but not cold water.