Tips for helping your dog friends stay cool during a hot Summer day

Summer is such a fun time of year! There’s always plenty to do with an energetic pup, like hiking, swimming, exploring the outdoors, or just hanging out in your backyard.

But, hot and humid weather can be taxing and even dangerous for dogs. If you are spending a lot of time outside, pay close attention to their behaviors and limits to prevent heatstroke.

Since dogs don’t tolerate heat as well as humans, heatstroke is a serious issue, but it can be prevented by staying aware of your dog’s behavior and following a few basic tips.

As you head out on your adventures or enjoy your backyard, keep your dog safe and cool with these tips from our vets!

1. Stay Indoors.

Sometimes, it’s just too hot for humans and dogs to be outside.

When the temps are too high, keep your dog indoors where it’s cool and air-conditioned.

Because dogs don’t sweat the same as humans, heatstroke is a serious health risk to dogs, especially puppies, seniors, flat-faced breeds, and obese dogs.

Heatstroke can happen very quickly without much warning, even when playing in the water or shade. Watch for abnormal behaviors like excessive panting, thick or tacky drool, fatigue, weakness, and even collapsing.

If you notice these kinds of behaviors, call us immediately and bring your dog in to see a vet.

2. Just add water!

Keep Fresh, Cool Water. Always make sure your dog has access to fresh, cool water. If it’s especially hot, add a few ice cubes or large blocks of ice.

Go Swimming. If you live near a dog-friendly body of water, take your dog for a swim after a walk, or hang by the pool with a few friends and their pups, too. Not all breeds are swimmers, so make sure to monitor them closely or bring a lifejacket.

Filling a kiddie pool with cool water is another great way for dogs to relax and cool down at the same time. Toss in a few toys and you’ve got a perfect pool party for puppers!

3. Provide Shade.

If your dog spends most of their time outside, make sure there is a shaded area where they can retreat to cool down.

Shade trees are great as they cast a large shaded area and keep the ground around the tree cool.

Additionally, umbrellas, carports, and covered porches provide protection from the sun and allow plenty of airflow. Dog houses, on the other hand, can be too stuffy and hot for dogs.

Be sure to include a water bowl, a cooling dog bed, and a few toys for a comfortable space.

4. Take walks early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cool.

Asphalt and sand get very hot on summer days. Taking walks as the sun comes up or as the sun sets can prevent your dog from burning their paws or getting overheated.

Before walking, check the temperature of the ground by holding your hand on the street for a few seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot to walk!

If the walk is longer than a typical stroll, be sure to bring water and a collapsible water bowl to keep your dog hydrated.

Summers are a wonderful time to do fun activities with your pet. Be sure you take precautions against heat stroke so you can continue to have wonderful adventures with your dog!

If you have any questions about heat stroke in animals, please give us a call.