When you think about all the fun activities you have planned for the upcoming summer, can you imagine not sharing them with man’s best friend? Growing up, the family dog went everywhere with us and is a part of most of my childhood memories. Whether it’s a lazy day spent by the pool or enjoying a backyard barbecue with friends and family, it’s definitely more fun with your pet by your side.
When summer rolls around, temperatures quickly rise, and just as you change how you care for yourself and your family, you need to adjust how you care for your pets. Here are 5 things to remember and be aware to help keep your pets safe and cool with the changing season:
Never leave your pets in a parked car – Just as you would not leave your child in a parked car, do not leave your pets there either. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly rise to dangerous highs. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can climb to 102 degrees in only 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature can reach 120 degrees!
Provide ample shade and water – Any time your pet is outside, make sure there is protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. For added help, add ice to their water. In the shade of trees or under tarps is ideal because they don't obstruct airflow. A doghouse does not provide relief from the heat and, in fact, makes the temperature worse.
Limit exercise on hot days – Take care when exercising your pet. Make sure not to over-do it on hot days. Limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Roadways and sidewalks get very hot in the sun and can burn your pet's paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. Always carry water with you when you walk your pets to keep them from getting dehydrated.
Look out for heatstroke – Heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires you to act quickly and calmly. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, call a veterinarian immediately. Lower your pet’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body.
I hope that you have a fun summer and keep your pets safe and cool!