No matter where in the U.S. you live, it will be warming up soon enough! Here in Ohio it’s been in the 80’s! I’ve seen lots of dogs walking around, panting. Which reminded me that dogs need heat protection, too, just like us! Here are some vital tips on how to keep your doggy safe in the spring/summer heat:
- Keep a close eye on your dog – The top sign that your dog’s temperature is rising too much is extreme fatigue. If you’re out with your dog in hot weather and he’s constantly searching for shade and repeatedly lying down, carry him quickly home, where you can check his temperature with a thermometer.
- Don’t rely solely on outside temperature – Even in seemingly cooler weather, like the upper 70’s and lower 80’s, your dog can get heatstroke. Sometimes exercise and humidity are the two worst combinations. Gauge your dog’s comfort by your own comfort. If you can’t stand being outside for a long period of time, neither can your dog.
- Change your walking time – If you normally take your dog for a walk during the daylight hours, switch it to a cooler time of day, like very early morning or nighttime, after the sun has set. It will be cooler and much more pleasant for both you and her.
- Keep your dog cool, inside and out – Give your dog cool, icy treats, like homemade peanut butter popsicles (recipe to come!) and lots of water! Also keep your dog cool by using cooling body wraps and cool baths.
- Don’t use ice when heatstroke happens – The first instinct when you notice your dog overheating is to pack ice around them, but the cold will actually constrict their veins and limit their bloodflow. Instead, dowse them with lukewarm water and put them in front of a fan (after calling your vet, of course.)
Keep yourself and your dog’s comfort in mind on these hot summer days! Unfortunately, only 50% of dogs recover from severe heatstroke, so be on your best alert and keep your doggy nice and cool during these warming temps!