Summer has only just begun, which means we’ve yet to see the hottest days. In keeping up with our series, we want to ensure you know how to keep pets safe in the summer heat. After all, the dog days of summer are upon us and understanding pain in our pets isn’t always the easiest task.
Preventing Heat Stroke in Pets
In How to Keep Pets Safe in the Summer Heat | Part 1, we discussed heat stroke in detail. In Part 2 of this series, we want to help keep your pet cool to help avoid any life-threatening emergencies. Here are a few strategies to help prevent heat stroke in pets.
Take Advantage of Cooler Times of the Day
Since we know there are countless benefits of walking your dog, forgoing this outdoor activity entirely during the summer isn’t ideal. Instead, you might need to adjust your schedule a bit to take advantage of cooler times of the day.
To avoid walking your dog during the hottest times of the day, plan for walks in the early morning or evening hours. The late afternoons, usually between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, are typically the hottest, despite the most direct sunlight occurring around noon.
Make Sure Shady Areas are Available
Another great way to ensure you are still providing outdoor exercise opportunities for your pup is to ensure they have plentiful shady areas. Direct sunlight can cause excessive heat in dogs, so it’s vital to ensure they have shade available if they must be outdoors in the heat.
Take a Break From Strenuous Exercising
Especially during the hottest parts of the day, you should take a break from strenuous exercise for your dog. Pets may be susceptible to heat and humidity in the early summer days when they are not yet acclimated. Be mindful and adjust your schedule as needed for your pet's safety.
During Extreme Temperatures, Always Keep Your Pet Indoors
Some dogs spend a lot of time outdoors, even in the summer. While this can be acceptable in some circumstances, it is not the case during extreme temperatures. On especially hot or humid days, you should always keep your pet indoors, with access to fans or air conditioning.
Always Provide Access to Water
Anytime you are out and about with your dog, always bring water and a collapsible bowl with you. Remember, your dog should have frequent opportunities to have a drink of water to help keep their temperatures down. Other fun and effective tools to keep your pets cool include sprinklers and swimming pools.
Protect Dogs From Hot Pavement
Hot and humid temperatures are one thing to consider, but also remember the residual heat in the pavement. Different pavement materials, especially blacktop, retain a lot of heat and can be much hotter than outdoor temperature readings.
Dogs can suffer burns when walking on the hot pavement; even their paw pads are tough. A simple way to determine if the pavement is too hot for your dog to walk on is if you cannot put your own hand or stand barefoot on the pavement for about 10 seconds.
Never Leave Your Dog in a Car Unattended
Trying to keep your car cool by cracking the windows is ineffective during the summer. For example, even if it is only 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside of the car can increase by 40 degrees in an hour.
Even if you aren’t planning to leave your dog in the car for an hour, it’s still crucial to be mindful. After all, the majority of the temperature increase occurs during the first 15-30 minutes.
Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture Wants to Help Keep Your Pets Safe This Summer
Here at Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture, we love summer just as much as the next dog lover. That’s why we’re committed to helping you keep your pets safe through the warmer weather. Stay tuned for more great tips to help keep your pets safe this summer.
Of course, if you’re interested in veterinary acupuncture but worried about potentially exposing your pet to heat stroke, we’re here for you, too! After all, we come to you!