We’re officially in the dog days of summer which means we need to be cautious about our pets in the hot heat.
Camp Bow Wow has some helpful tips to keep your pets from being over heated during these long hot summer days.
Exercise with caution: Pets need exercise even when it is hot, but owners need to show extra care in high temperatures. Follow the five second rule: if you can’t hold the back of your hand on the pavement for five seconds, it’s too hot for a walk. When on a walk or run, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours when it is cooler. Extra caution should also be taken with short-nosed dogs and those with thick coats, as they are more intolerant to high temperatures.
Never leave your dog unattended in the car: Just 15 minutes in a hot car can cause serious damage, or even death. Even if you’re “just running in” and will put the window down, don’t leave your dog in the car, as temperatures in a parked car can reach up to 140 degrees in one hour. If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, record the car’s color, make, model and license plate number and have the owner paged in the nearest buildings or call local humane authorities or police. Always have someone keep an eye on the dog and don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.
Don’t forget the sunscreen: Just like us, dogs can get sunburned too, especially if they have light-colored fur. Animal sunburns can result in the same symptoms we have: peeling, redness and even cancer. Purchasing pet-friendly sunscreen to protect them from the sun’s strong UV rays can go a long way in protecting your pet. Places that are easy to forget, but prone to burning are: inside the nostrils, tip of nose, around your dog’s lips and the inside of ears for dogs with standup ears.
Pets need extra water – but don’t let them drink just anything: It is important to give your pet extra water during the summer heat, but don’t leave a water bowl out for too long, as this causes bacteria to grow. If your pet drinks this water, they can get sick. When on walks, puddles of what look like water can actually be full of dangerous chemicals, so keep an eye out when your dog is looking for something to sip, and make sure they always can find safe drinking water.
Keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke: Dogs can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads, so they can develop heatstroke quickly. Signs of this include excessive panting, staring, anxious facial expressions, warm skin, refusal to obey commands by owner, vomiting, collapse and rapid heartbeat. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from this, lower your pet’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body.