Water is essential!
- It is extremely important to allow your dog’s constant access to water to stay hydrated.
- Set up a kiddy pool for your dog to bathe in. It’s best to place the pool in the shade to keep the water at a comfortable temperature.
- Give your dog a bath on a particularly hot sunny day. Just like us, being splashed with cold water is shocking; so check the water to see if it’s a comfortable temperature before beginning.
- Bathing provides multiple benefits besides cooling off your dog. Using a gentle dog shampoo, you can remove excess oils and any dirt without drying out the skin.
Mind the duration of activities and time spent outdoors.
- In the heat of the summer, a dog’s physical limitations will change, making walks more demanding.
- Change the timing of physical activity to the coolest parts of the day - the early morning or late evening. Walks in the intense heat could easily lead to heat stroke.
- Avoid pavement as much as possible. The pads of your dog’s feet are sensitive.
- Use protective cream to provide a shield against hot pavement, sand and salt.
Summer coat maintenance is key.
- Make combing a regular habit to thin out thick coats. Build it into a routine part of your day. Not only does combing provide relief by removing excess fur but it also leaves your dog’s coat looking clean and burnished.
- If your dog has a long coat, it might be a good idea to trim it. Trimming hair will provide relief by allowing excessive heat to leave the body.
- Be careful not to leave your dog with too little fur. Your dog’s fur protects them against the sun's intense rays and traps cool air close to the body.
- Not all fur is created equal. Dogs with short hair often have exposed spots of skin, allowing the opportunity for sunburn. Rub a little pet friendly sunscreen on the bridge of the nose, tips of the ears and belly.
Consider the nature of your errands and the temperature outside.
- Don't leave your dog in the car for any amount of time, even with the windows cracked. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can reach 110 degrees in 10 minutes.
- If you can’t bring your companion in the store, it’s best to leave him at home in a cool area.
- If you notice a dog in an unoccupied car, report it!
- In general, look out for signs of heat stress, including excessive panting, heart rate, unsteadiness, deep red or purple tongue, and vomiting or diarrhea.
- If your dog is not coping well in the heat, seek professional veterinary help immediately.