With the hot days of summer near, there are many tips that you can follow to keep your pets cool and happy. Dogs can very easily overheat causing organ damage and lead to a large vet bill. By following these tips, you will make sure your pet stays cool and healthy this summer.
When your car is sitting in the hot sun, it can become a sauna extremely quick. It takes around 5 minutes to reach a temperature that is too hot for your dogs. NEVER leave your pet in a hot car. Even if you think that you are only going to be in the store for just a second. You never know how long the check-out line is or who you are going to run into for a quick chat while in the store.
When your pets are playing outside, they can also get overheated very fast. Dogs do not sweat like humans. They must pant to cool themselves off. Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh cool water and a little bit of shade.
These are a few good tips to keep your pets cool in the summer. Freeze a large container of water about 3/4th full, fill it the rest of the way up with unfrozen water and put it outside. This will give your pets access to cool water through the day as the ice melts. If your dog has long hair keeping a fan or a misting fan outside for them to lay under.
Dogs feet are sensitive to the hot pavement and concrete. When taking your pets for a walk place the back of your hand on the ground. If you do not want to leave your hand on the ground for an extended period of time, then it is too hot for your pet to walk on. Getting doggie boots will help protect their paws while they are walking. Also, in the summer walking on a trail through the woods would be cool on your pets’ paws as they are usually shady and sometimes even unpaved.
During the summer we all love to go swimming. This is a great way for your dog to also get some exercise and stay cool. If you do does not like water does not force them to get into the pool. They will only stress out more and could potentially drown. Once your dog is done swimming make sure that they dry fully including inside their ears. If their fur stays wet or they get water into their ears, they can get a skin or ear infection. Even keeping a small kiddy pool for them to lay around in will help keep them cool while playing outside.
Summertime also means that there are more bugs out. Make sure to keep your pet on flea and tick medications. There are many deadly diseases that both of these bugs carry that your pet can catch. Flea and tick prevention will help keep the parasites off of your pets and your pet’s disease free. Bees are another thing that could potentially harm our pet. If you know a certain area of your yard is known for bees. Try to prevent your pets from getting to this area. A bee sting is usually not a huge problem, but some dogs are allergic. If your pet's face starts to swell they most likely got stung or bit by something. It is best to take them to your veterinarian. They can give your dog medication to help decrease the swelling.
Snakes can cause a lot of problems for your pets. Many dogs who find a snake want to play with the snake. The snake will then bite your dog usually on the face or paw. This is cause swelling. Usually, their whole face and neck will swell. If you notice this the best thing to do it take your pet to the veterinarian. Not all snakes are venomous and venomous snakes do not infect venom every time they bite. They usually only release their venom about 20% of the time. A veterinary office will have on hand what is needed to treat your pet with a snake bite.
Just like people dogs can also get sunburns. Very short hair or light hair dogs can easily get sunburned. These dogs are best to keep in the shade. They do make sunscreen, especially for dogs to help decrease the burning. If you have a short light haired dog, apply some sunscreen to them before they go outside and play
When taking your dog for a walk it is best to do them either very early in the morning or very late afternoons. During the hot part of the day, your dog can easily overheat. The pavement is also very hot and can cause burns on their feet. Your dog can very easily overheat on a walk and sometimes even force you to carry them all the way back home. By taking them for a walk in the early morning or late evening they will be much cooler on these walks. Also, take a doggie water bottle with you on your walks for your pet to drink during the walk to help stay cool.
If you notice that your dog has gotten too hot bring them inside in the air condition and begin to cool them off with cool, not cold water. If they seem very lethargic and cannot get cool take them to your veterinarian. They will give the IV fluids to help cool them off. By following these few tips during the hot summer months you will keep your dog healthy and cool.
Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM
Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.