As the temperatures are rising we need to take into consideration the safety of our four legged friends. Most breeds of dogs have thick coats and even if something doesn’t seem too hot to us, it could be dangerous for your dog.
There are some general signs to watch for when assessing if your dog is getting too hot. Your dog’s tongue is the best clue. The longer it is, the redder it is, and the wider it is, all indicate that your dog is getting hot or even overheated. Dogs aren’t able to sweat like people, so the only way they have to cool off is by panting.
Prevention is our best solution when it comes to hot weather so we wanted to take a moment to share some important reminders for dealing with summer’s heat:
– Never leave your dog inside a vehicle unsupervised, even if you think you will “only be a second.” The temperature in a vehicle heats up very fast and many dogs die each year due to this.
– Make sure to have fresh water and shade easily accessible to your dog at all times.
– Pavement can become very hot and will burn your dog’s pads. Consider where you are walking and try to time your walks during cooler periods during the day such as early morning or in the evening.
– Some dogs love to play so much that they will play even when hot. We need to use our judgement to stop before your dog overheats.
If your dog is hot, bring your dog inside to the air conditioning to cool off and offer fresh water. If your dog has overheated, you want to slowly decrease their body temperature but placing your dog in cool (not cold) bath water. If the water is too cold it can shock their system and cause serious health issues. If you are having trouble reviving your dog, take your dog to the nearest vet clinic for emergency assistance.
Enjoy the summer weather, but be responsible in caring for your furry friend!
Jennifer Varick Lutes is the Associate Director at 4 Paws For Ability. She started with 4 Paws at 12 years-old as a volunteer puppy raiser. Learn about volunteering at 4 Paws at www.4pawsforability.org/volunteer-at-4-paws/.