The summer heat, especially in southern states like Florida, is no joke. You know how much you hate feeling overheated and dehydrated, which is why you need to devote extra effort to ensuring that your dog remains comfortable during the most intense summer weather. To avoid injuries and illnesses like heat stroke, foot pad burns, sunburn, and dehydration, just follow these simple tips.
First and foremost, never leave your dog in the car. Ever. For anything! If you can’t bring your dog with you when you park, then it’s best to leave him at home in the air conditioning instead. We have all heard the awful stories of pets—and children—becoming trapped in hot cars and losing their lives. Accidents happen even to people with the best of intentions, so it’s smart to simply never put your pet in the position where an accident can occur.
Second, make access to cool, fresh water a priority. It may sound obvious, but it is easy to forget when you’re having a busy or stressful day. Your dog cannot cool himself down as efficiently as a human body can, so cool water is critical to avoid overheating. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to reach the point of dehydration on a very hot day.
Next, plan your walks strategically so that you only go outside during the coolest parts of the day. Early in the morning and late in the evening are the ideal times. Also, plan to walk on grass or shaded surfaces since asphalt can burn your pup’s paws. If you consider the weather to be hot, then your dog is experiencing even more intense heat, so find a shady space to cool off.
Finally, familiarize yourself with the signs of heat stroke so that you can jump to action if needed. Dogs suffering from heat stroke tend to exhibit signs like diarrhea, vomiting, rapid panting, and reddening on the skin inside the ears. If you think your dog is dealing with heat stroke, get him inside, turn on a nearby fan, offer him water, and dampen his skin with lukewarm water. You can also take your dog’s temperature to ensure he isn’t in danger. His body temperature should range between 100 and 102.5 degrees, but anything approaching or over 106 requires an immediate call for veterinary assistance.
By treating your dog with the same considerations you grant yourself and your children, you can help your dog enjoy a nice, cool summer.