How to keep your dog cool:
•Never leave your dog alone in the car – a car can reach up to 120-140 degrees in the sun in a very short time.
•Always carry an extra bottle of water for your dog, whether you are on a walk or taking a short trip in the car.
•Do not exercise your dog during the heat of the day – try for early morning or evening.
•If you are enjoying an outdoor summer day at the beach or barbeque, always provide shade for your dog.
•Be extra careful with older, ill and overweight animals in hot weather as they are very sensitive to heat.
•Certain breeds, termed brachycephalic (short-headed), are at greater risk for heat-related illness. Brachycephalic breeds include French bulldogs, English bulldogs and pugs, among others. These breeds should be exercised with extreme caution. A simple walk around the block may cause their temperature to rise to dangerous or even life-threatening levels. Keep them in cool, air-conditioned areas on hot days.
•Do not give your dog a short cut, fur acts as an insulation. Don’t shave your dog as this can increase the risk of sunburn.
•Be aware and very careful of hot pavement; it can burn your dog’s paw pads.
•Bring a handheld fan with you to direct toward your dog if your dog seems to be getting hot.
What to do if your dog becomes overheated:
If your dog does become overheated, spray your dog down with room temperature or cool water, but never ice water. Ice-cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin, and heat can’t escape the body, which makes heat exhaustion symptoms worse. Alternatively, you can wrap the feet of your dog in wet towels to help bring your dog’s temperature down. Once your dog stops panting, be careful not to overcool, as this can be equally dangerous to your vulnerable dog.
Also, be sure not to give sports drinks to dogs, which can actually harm animals and make dogs sick.
Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are all signs of heat-related distress. If your dog is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take him to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.
With a little planning, you can make the most of your summer days and keep your dog safe from the heat all season long.