If you leave your dog (or other pet including: cats, tortoises, iguanas, etc.) outdoors for any length of time this summer, or whenever it is extremely warm, make sure the animal has shelter and access to clean water. When the mercury rises, tying a dog up to bake in the hot sun is not the way to be a responsible pet owner.
Dogs pant to cool off when they are too warm. Drinking some cool water is another way to cool off. On hot days, it’s nice for people to sit with their feet in a little wading pool to keep cool. Access to a wading pool can be fun for a canine too. It helps them to stay comfortable. Of course, when they get out, you’ll want to stand back when they shake off the water! A sprinkler watering the lawn can water the dog too, but always make sure there is clean drinking water in addition to a sprinkler.
If your dog has a chronic illness, especially heart disease, keeping the animal at the proper temperature is vital to the pet’s survival. While arthritis is worse in cold weather, it can still be a factor on rainy days, especially. Very young and very old dogs will certainly have more severe reactions to being overheated.
Shade is also important. If there is no shade in your yard, you need a dog house, awning or other sun protection. This may sound like common sense, but keep in mind that the sun moves across the sky during the day. What is shady in the morning may be entirely shade-free during the afternoon. Many breeds can get sunburn, especially those with very short fur. Offering shade can be a life or death situation for a dog.
Even though pads on a dog’s feet are tough, they are still sensitive to very hot surfaces like blacktop. Before walking your dog on blacktop in the summer, test it by putting your hand on surface of the road. You’ll be surprised how hot it can get. Small, more delicate breeds, are especially vulnerable. Stick to the concrete sidewalks as much as possible or walk through unpaved areas of dirt, sand or grass.
When indoors, many dogs will opt to sleep on tile or vinyl floors rather than carpeted ones. Tile floors stay cooler and make it more comfortable for some dogs. However, breeds with low body fat might find this hard surface uncomfortable even though it is cooler. Other canines enjoy lying in front of a fan. Even if the home has air conditioning, a fan blowing on a dog, seems to make them happy.
If your pet has a bad reaction to the heat, make sure to get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Heat shock should not be taken lightly. Put wet towels on the dog to cool him off. Don’t use extremely cold water, as the animal could go into shock. This is a serious problem and needs immediate, professional medical help.
Be the amazing pet owner you know you can be, and do what is right for your canine. Make sure the animal has access to fresh water, shade and shelter. The best thing for dog owners is to limit the time your pet spends outdoors on those blazing hot days.