Yeeepawww, Hot-Diggity-Dog! It’s summertime.
The weather forecast for this summer is calling for hotter than average temperatures for much of the US as they are trending hotter than in the past years. Is your dog ready for these hot days of summer?
Here are hot weather dog tips for getting ready for the Dog Days of summer.
Dogs can suffer from heat strokes very quickly when exposed to high summer temperatures. Temperatures above 100 with high humidity can be detrimental to your furbabies health. Dogs can't sweat thru their skin like humans. They rely on panting and discharging heat through their paw pads to control their body temperature to stay cool.
If you see your dog panting heavily, dribbling, lethargic, and are looking like they are ready to collapse, your dog may be experiencing a heat stroke. You must take action immediately. Move them to a cool place with ventilation, pour cool water on their body and call your veterinarian.
LIMIT EXERCISE ON HOT HUMID DAYS
To avoid your dog from getting a heat stroke while they're exposed to high temperatures, minimize their exercising and playing. If you walk them, try to take them early in the morning or early in the evening when the temperatures are not as hot. Also, make sure that they have plenty of cold water when playing or walking. When you walk your dog in hot temperatures, the pavement can get very hot. Be sure to touch the pavement with your hand, if the pavement is too hot to the touch, then it's too hot for your dog's paws. At first, they may not show any signs of irritation but as they continue walking in the hot pavement, their paw pads will blister and your dog will not be able to walk. Also, take more frequent water breaks.
To keep your dog active and cool during the hot summer days is to let them swim in the swimming pool. Or you can take them to the lake, river, or ocean to jump in the water to cool off. Make sure that your dog knows how to swim. If they don't know how you can put a life-saving jacket that is made for dogs. Nothing says summer more than running and playing through an awesome outdoor sprinkler splash pad that is made for dogs and kids. Fun for the entire family.
Just be cautious because if dogs spend too much time in the water it can lead to water intoxication. This is when the dog swallows too much water in a short period of time. This can lead to brain damage and even death.
Some signs that your dog may suffer from water intoxication are vomiting, bloating, pale gums, tiredness, and loss of coordination or lethargic. If you notice any of these symptoms, please get them out of the water and call your veterinarian.
TRAVELING WITH YOUR DOGS
Another activity that we may do in the summer as a family is going on vacation. You should have a plan ready to see what you are going to do with your dog.
Nowadays, it is more convenient to take your dog on a family vacation. Many hotels and resorts are more flexible in accepting your dog. So, when making reservations make sure your dog is welcome.
If you are traveling with your dog, be mindful of all their belonging to make them comfortable in the car such as their bed, toys, treats, food, and most important, water and good ventilation.
NEVER EVER, EVER leave your dog in a hot car even with the windows down. The temperature in a car can rise quickly, making it very dangerous for your dog. Within minutes, your dog will experience difficulty breathing and eventually suffer a heatstroke that may lead to organ failure and even death. So, when you are stopping in a rest area, or to get something to eat, make sure you take your dog out of the car.
Be extra careful if you own a dog with short/flat noses like pugs, bulldogs, boxers, and Shih-Tzu are more susceptible to heat strokes because their nasal passage is very short. Also, older and overweight dogs are more prone to overheat.
If your traveling plans will not allow for your dog to travel with you, then you will need to make arrangements for boarding and check that your dog's vaccinations are up to date. When considering a boarding facility, look for places with an excellent reputation and that the facility is clean. I highly recommend looking for a boarding facility where they keep the dogs active during the day and at night they keep them in a run or sizeable area where they can relax and sleep comfortably. You want your dog to feel like he's on vacation as well.
ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT SHAVING YOUR DOG'S HAIR FOR THE SUMMER? THINK AGAIN!!
As a responsible dog owner, you want to make sure your dog is staying cool. Our first thought when we see our hairy four-legged friends with long hair and the thick fluffy undercoat in the hot humid days is to shave them down.
BUT HOLD ON NOT SO FAST!
Before shaving your dog's hair, you need to know that their hair and coat act as a protective layer to keep them from overheating. Just like it keeps them warm in the cold weather. Their coat is like the insulation of a house, it keeps the house warm during the winter and cools during the summer.
Our dog's coat comprises several layers of hair that are crucial in helping our pups stay comfortable on hot summer days. Shaving your dog will not only make your dog more uncomfortable but they can also get sunburn which can lead to skin cancer.
You can trim and brush their hair to make it more manageable, but do not shave them down to the skin. If you have a dog with a thick coat and they are always wet, you may want to consider trimming their hair as their coat may get very matted, develop foul odors and be prone to hot spots. Also, brushing their hair regularly helps remove dead undercoats, which helps air circulate close to their skin. If your dog has short and/or light-colored hair, and pink skin. They can get sunburn. Apply dog sunscreen before getting exposed to the sun.
Whether your dog has short or long hair and spends a lot of time outside, make sure they have plenty of shade and water so they can stay cool and hydrated. If possible, get a wading pool for them to jump in it as they please.
Pests come out in full force during the summer, especially fleas and ticks. They flourish during the summer heat and can be a nuisance for your furry friend.
Flea bites are annoying and itchy for most dogs, but if your dog is allergic to them, then they can cause real discomfort and severe scratching which can lead to severe irritation.
Regular flea treatment is the only way to prevent these little bugs. Your vet can prescribe the most effective treatment for your fur baby. Also, if your dog has fleas, most likely they are in your home and you will have to treat them to prevent an infestation.
Ticks are spider-like, egg-shaped creepy crawlies that are common in wooded, shrubbery, and grassy areas. Ticks carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, it’s important to remove any tick that attaches to your dog. This can be tricky, as you need to be careful not to squeeze the tick’s body, or allow its head to get stuck inside your dog. Twisting them off or using a tweezer is the best way to remove them from your dog. Also, use alcohol to clean the bite to keep from any infection.
Bees and Wasps insect stings will simply cause your dog pain and irritation, but multiple stings can be fatal. Some dogs are allergic to bee and wasp stings, so watch out for signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling and difficulty breathing. If you think your dog has been stung and is having an allergic reaction, take them to your vet immediately.
Remember, if the temperatures are intolerable for you, they will be for your dog as well. Take precautions when staying active with your dog. Keep yourself and your dog cool and healthy in the summer. Do not overdo it! Enjoy!!