As people emerge from lock down into summer weather across most of the nation it can be very tempting to immediately pull out the leash and take Fido for a walk. The problem with that is this is a hot country – June has been insane in some parts of the Midwest – and going from the air conditioned breeze of lock down to a walk in the blazing sun is just not ideal for your pet.
It is vital to give your pet the help it needs to stay cool in the summer sun and here are five tips that will help your pets – both large and small – beat the heat as the temperatures rise:
Avoid the heat of the day
This one sounds simple, but it is a tip that many people still need to be reminded about. The best strategy with a dog is to go for walks either early in the morning before work or later in the evening after work. Avoiding the sun at its hottest is the key here, while also remembering that the sidewalk will have been heating up for as long as the sun has been out to the point where it can burn your puppy’s paws. Know when the heat of the day hits in your region and do everything you can to avoid that time period.
Groom your pets
Having a thick, heavy, insulating coat is ideal for pets in the winter. In the summer, however, it is like a human going for a walk with a thick layer of blankets that you can’t take off without assistance. Be sure to keep your pet neatly trimmed during the summer months, giving them vital help in beating the heat. This isn’t just important for dogs, but also for backyard critters like angora rabbits that can easily overheat because of their fur.
Hydration is paramount
Pets need their water and they need it to be cold. Just as you wouldn’t be refreshed by water that has been sitting in the 90 degree sun for hours, neither will your pet. Make sure that any water bowls, troughs, or bottles are in the shade as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to throw an ice cube or two into a water bowl to really keep your pet’s water as cool as it can be.
Watch for signs of distress
You can take many steps to prevent your pet from overheating, but sometimes that might not be enough. That’s why it’s important to quickly notice if your pet is too hot so you can find ways to immediately cool them down. Some early signs of overheating include excessive panting, disorientation, excessive drooling, and overall weakness. If you see any combination of these symptoms then take precautions such as getting into the shade and getting your dog water as soon as possible.
Don’t take your pet in the car
There is a small window during the year when it is safe to take your pet in the car when you go shopping or out for lunch. The summer is not the time for this. Leaving your pet in the car – even with cracked windows – is simply a no-no. Researchers at Live Science ran tests and found that in just one hour at 95 Fahrenheit temperatures the average temperature inside the car was 116 F. The dashboard – a favorite place for some dogs to rest – reached a staggering 157 F in that hour. The hot car is no place for a pet to stay and it’s vital you make the correct decision to leave them at home for their own safety.
Article by Vital Guidance