Just like us our pets need protection from the summer heat. There are 4 factors that go into how hot it really is outside: Air Temperature, Humidity, Wind Velocity; Thermal Radiation (how sunny it is). Temperature alone does not tell the whole story.
For instance, a sunny 80 degree day with no wind puts more stress on your body to regulate your temperature than a cloudy 80 degree day with a 10mph wind.
Humidity impairs your body’s ability to sweat and regulate your temperature and your dogs. A 90 degree day with 95% humidity will feel much hotter than a 90 degree with 40% humidity. Dogs pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs which removes heat from their body. When the humidity is high your dog can struggle to cool themselves.
Tips for Keeping your Dog Safe in the Heat:
Plenty of water. Make sure your dog can get to plenty of water, they can dehydrate quickly. Carry water with you for your pet if you are out and about.
Limit exercise to early morning or late evening when the temperatures are cooler. This is better for your health too.
Pay attention to the temperature of sidewalks and paths. Concrete and asphalt get hot particularly on a sunny day. Allow your dog to walk in the grass whenever possible. A good rule of thumb is if the pavement is too hot for your hands or feet it is too hot for your dogs.
Provide outdoor shade for your dog that is open and allows them to still feel a breeze. A dog house is great for your pet in the cold or in the rain but it does block the wind. The wind will help your dog stay cool.
Never keep your pet in a parked car. Temperatures in vehicles rise rapidly. On an 85 degree day with the windows cracked your car and reach 120 degrees in just 30 minutes.
Get a haircut. Some breeds can have a summer haircut that will help keep them cool. This is breed specific so do some research before trimming your dog’s hair. Some breeds with thick coats benefit from their fur and it helps keep them cool.
Very old dogs, new puppies, overweight dogs or dogs with respiratory or heart conditions will have a harder time coping with hot days. Breeds with flat faces can also have a harder time breathing in the heat. Breeds that don’t do well in the heat include: pugs, shih tzus, Japanese Chin, bulldogs and boxers.
Dogs can get heatstroke. Signs of heatstroke include: excessive panting, rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, dizziness, deep red or purple tongue, lethargy, fever, profuse salivation, seizure and unconsciousness.
Your dog’s temperature should never get over 104 degrees. If your pet’s temperature is dangerously high, you should try to cool your dog. Placing cool wet towels on the hairless areas is best (stomach, ears, inner thighs). Do not use ice water! A fan can also help cool your pet.
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