Those “dog days” of summer are on their way, and you won’t be the only one feeling the heat! Your pet can become uncomfortable, dehydrated, or even suffer heat stroke when the temps soar, so follow these tips to keep him or her safe.
1. Provide several bowls of fresh, clean water. This is especially important if your pet spends time outside, and/or you are gone for several hours per day.
2. Add ice cubes to their water bowls. It’s as refreshing to pets as it is to humans!
3. Provide shade, if your pet spends time outdoors. The temperatures in shade can be drastically different than those in sunny spots, and your pet needs a place to cool off and rest.
4. Keep your pets indoors when possible.
5. Bring a water dish and bottle of water everywhere you go. Summer is the perfect time for outdoor activities, but your pet can become thirsty very quickly.
6. Go for walks early in the morning or later in the evening. Avoid the hottest part of the day, from about 11 am to 4 or 5 pm.
7. Avoid pavement on outings. Your dog’s paw pads can burn quickly on hot summer days. Walk on grass whenever possible.
8. Take extra precautions with certain pets. Certain medications such as steroids reduce heat tolerance. Some breeds, like boxers and bulldogs, suffer more sensitivity to heat. Older pets, also, can be more prone to dehydration and heatstroke, so know your pet’s risk factors and plan around them.
Finally, remember that numerous hot car deaths occur with children every summer. The same fate can befall pets who are left in vehicles, because it only takes a few minutes for the internal temperature of a car to reach far above both human and pet tolerance levels. When in doubt, leave your pet at home so that you can run errands and attend outings safely.