Every year, we like to remind our readers and our furry patients’ human parents about some important safety measures that should be taken to keep your dog cool and healthy during the summer. As temperatures rise here in Orange County, it is important to remember that your dog may not be able to handle the heat as well as you think. Read on to learn more about our summer safety tips for dogs!
For starters, it is important to check the temperature of the concrete you expect your dog to be on before you let them outside onto your patio or take them on a walk. A quick way to test the concrete is to place your palm flat on the ground. If it feels too hot for you to touch, it is probably too hot for your dog’s paws. If this is the case, try keeping them inside whenever possible, or laying towels down outside to create a cooler path to some grass where your dog can safely walk.
Time Your Walks
During the other seasons, it is generally safe to walk your dog during different times of the day. However, during summer temperatures often get too high for most dogs to safely be outside exercising. Try to take your dog on walks early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperatures have cooled off. The palm test mentioned above is a great way to check for safety before taking your dog on a walk. However, your dog can suffer from heat exhaustion and other heat-related health issues even when they are playing or running in the grass. Keep an eye out for heatwave warnings through your local weather reports or weather app on your phone, so you can schedule your walks and hikes accordingly. If it is too hot for you to safely be outside, it is probably too hot for your dog!
Just like humans need extra water in the summer heat, dogs need to stay extra hydrated! Make sure that your dog always has water available to them, even if you’re just going to play at the dog park for a couple of hours. It is also a good idea to have a few different bowls available for them at home, in case one spills or runs out when you are away from home. Bring a collapsible dog bowl with you for easy travel and cleanup! It is also important to give them cool or room temperature water instead of ice cold water, as this can shock their systems in the heat.
Some dog breeds handle the heat a lot better or worse than others. This has a lot to do with fur and hair length and thickness. You may notice that your dog is shedding a lot more than usual during the summer months, as having less fur will help them stay cool. You can help them out by brushing them more frequently than usual if you notice extra shedding. If you take your dog to a pet groomer, have them cut your pup’s hair a little shorter than usual to help them stay cool during the hot summer months! Your groomer should be familiar with your dog breed’s summer needs.
We hope that these tips and tricks help you and your pet have a safe and fun summer together. If your pet experiences any heat-related health issues or displays any alarming behavior, call BrightCare Animal Emergency!