The heat wave this past weekend was brutal but we were able to keep all of our campers safe and comfortable. As we still have quite a bit of summer ahead of us (Yay), we thought it would be a good idea to talk about how to keep your furry friend safe during the dog days of summer. Here are our best recommendations for beating the heat!
Keep it Cool
While many dogs are happiest running wild and free in the great outdoors as we do at camp, when it is hot and humid, your pup may actually prefer to stay inside where it is cool. Limit time outside to potty breaks when possible and be sure to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If your pup does need to be outside for any length of time, be sure to keep them in a shady spot.
Hydration is Key
It is important that your dog always has access to plenty of fresh water. However, you should not give your pup ice water or water that is super cold. Cooling down too quickly can trigger other health problems and can be very dangerous Also, never force your dog to drink as water can get in the lungs and/or may cause choking.
Even though it is hot outside, dogs still need their exercise. The best thing to do is to take walks/go for a run early in the morning or later in the evening when it is cooler. Even though you may be able to tolerate the heat while working up a sweat, your pup may not handle it as well. Dogs have a higher core body temperature than humans and cannot sweat the way we do. It is up to us to take precautions and make smart decisions for our fur babies.
Protect Their Paws
The pads of your pup's paws can get burned from walking on hot pavement - especially black top. Check the ground before you allow them to walk on it by putting the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot comfortably hold it there for 5 seconds or more, it is likely too hot for your dog to walk on.
If you are bringing Fido along on a trip, it is a good idea to pack extra water. A portable fan and some mats/blankets might also be good to have on hand in case you happen to break down and need to wait outside of your vehicle. Most importantly, NEVER leave your pooch alone in the car even if the windows are cracked. Vehicles heat up very quickly, especially if it is sunny, and this can lead to heat stroke, dehydration or even a fatality.
While many dogs enjoy a nice dip in the pool, you should never leave them unattended. Not all dogs are able to swim. It is also important to rinse your pup off after swimming in a pool to remove chlorine and any other chemicals that can irritate their skin. And, of course, do not let them drink pool water!
Fur is Our Friend
While a nice summer haircut is certainly in order, be cautious of clipping your pup's coat too short. A dog's coat actually helps protect against sunburn and also shields against the heat. Leaving an inch of hair/fur is sufficient to keep your dog comfortable.
If your pup experiences any of the following symptoms, get them out of the sun/heat immediately. If their condition does not improve and you are unable to cool them down, take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Increased heart rate
Loss of balance
Everyone loves to enjoy summer fun with their best furry friend. With a bit of caution and common sense, you can beat the heat and safely enjoy the summer sunshine!