As the weather warms up, the natural tendency is to want to spend lots of time outdoors soaking up the sunshine. While spending more time outdoors can be a great source of exercise and fun for your dog, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers of heat exhaustion. Here are some tips for keeping your best friend cool and safe this summer.

  • First and foremost, keep your dog hydrated. Dogs will need more water than usual when the temperatures rise, so make sure to keep the water bowl full of fresh, cool water, and take water for your dog with you on any walks. If a dog gets dehydrated, it can turn into heatstroke quickly. Signs of dehydration include dry nose, dry mouth and gums, excessive panting, and vomiting or loss of appetite. If your dog has a few of these symptoms, see your vet immediately.
  • Don’t let the temperature fool you. Dogs can overheat in temperatures as low as 80 degrees. Add in humidity and exertion, and it gets dangerous quickly.
  • Change your walking time. Avoid the hottest parts of the day by going for walks in the early morning and late evening, after the sun has set. If possible, avoid hot surfaces like sand or asphalt, as your dog’s paws are sensitive and can burn easily.
  • NEVER leave your dog in a closed car (even with the windows cracked); on a warm day, the temperature inside can rise to over 150 degrees within minutes.
  • Go for a swim! Swimming is the best activity for a dog in the summertime. It’s not only great exercise, but it can be an opportunity for bonding while the two of you cool off together.

By following these tips, you can make sure you and your dog both have a safe, fun summer.