This time of year we can expect much warmer temperatures. We may whine and complain because we are hot but we need to think about our animals at the same time. Dogs, in particular, are often victim to the heat and we don’t think about the impact of their fur coats as the temperatures rise.
5 tips to keep your dog cool
- Don’t leave your dog in a parked car at all. It takes no time at all for the temperatures to reach over 100 even with windows slightly open.
Even at just 72 degrees, a car parked in direct sunlight can reach 116. Veterinarian Cate Rinaldo, a volunteer with United Animal Nations, points out that dogs don’t have sweat glands all over their bodies like humans do, so the main way they can cool off is by panting, which isn’t very efficient. Once a dog’s body temperature gets over about 106 — normal temperature is around 101 — the result is “everything from nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, systemic organ failure, and it happens fast, within a matter of minutes,” she says.
- Change their water every day and check the water on hot days to make sure they don’t need more throughout the day. Hydration is important to dogs as well as humans. Bring water with you on walks and outings so that your dog can have water when you do.
- Dogs need options to cool off just like you do. Perhaps your dog would enjoy some time in a kiddy pool.
- Time your walks and where you walk. If the pavement is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog. Opt for early morning or late night or stick to short walks on grassy areas during the hot weather.
- When your dog is kept outside, make sure there is shade available and check to see if the shade area needs to be changed as the sun shine changes.
Remember these tips to help you and your dog have a safe summer even when it is hot!
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