Every year our summers are getting hotter and hotter. New record heatwaves are coming and going throughout the world. As humans, we have the ability to express how hot we are or get out of the heat. However, our pets aren’t the same as us. They aren’t able to open a car door, turn on water, or verbally communicate to us that they are hot. That is why we have to be vigilant, mindful, and keep an eye on our pets during the summer.
Below are signs to look for when your dog is over heating or dehydrated as well as some great ways to keep your dogs cool while things are heating up.
Signs of overheating
If your dog starts to show any of these signs, you should bring them in and cool them off as soon as possible. If your dog can’t cool off or has fainted, take them to your vet immediately.
- Heavy panting and drooling
- Thick saliva
- Rapid heartbeat and troubled breathing
- Body weakness, fatigue and/or dizziness
- Red or dark tongue and gums
- Tremors or staggering
Signs of dehydration
Your dog can also show signs of dehydration. You should pay attention to your dog when it’s hot outside and look for these simple signs. You can also do a quick test by gently pinching the neck folds and seeing if it snaps back slowly or quickly. If it snaps back quickly, your dog is dehydrated.
- Dry mouth and sunken eyes
- Very lethargic
- May be depressed or unhappy
Freeze treats and give them to your dog
If your dog has a particularly favorite treat, you can always freeze them and give it to them when it’s hot. You can also take their favorite treat, freeze it in in a water dish and let give them something to do while they are outside. Our dogs love scratching and chomping away at ice with a hidden treat inside.
Invest in a chill collar, crate fan, or cooling bed
Nowadays you can pick up specially made collars that you can get wet with cold water and then wrap it around your dog. If you have to leave your dog in a kennel for long periods of time and don’t have a fan, you can always invest in a crate fan that attaches to the crate and blows cool air onto your dog. Finally, you can pick up a cooling pad that your dog can lay on to keep cool if you don’t have cooler floors.
Keep fresh water available
As your dog heats up, they will begin to sweat, pant, and look for cooler areas. Keeping them well hydrated during this time will help them fight off the heat and keep cool. It will also allow them to naturally relieve heat since they will be well hydrated. It also doesn’t hurt to throw in a few ice cubes if the water to help cool your pup off.
If your dog is kept outside
Make sure they have access to a shaded area or an awning away from the sun. This will help keep the heat off your dog and provide them a cooler area to relax. If you don’t have a natural shading area, you can always create a makeshift awning with sheets. You can also make the heat more enjoyable by providing them with a kiddie pool so that they can splash around and cool off.
Exercise your dog during cooler times
All dogs need exercise, however, exercising the dog during the hot part of the day can cause them to overheat. As the sun beats down, it can heat up your dog, the pavement your dog walks on, and limit shade depending on where you are exercising. It may seem a bit inconvenient to get up earlier in the morning or stay up a little bit later than normal but your little furry companion will greatly appreciate it.
Be mindful of the humidity
You might think, it’s a nice chilly day outside but if you live in an area that has higher humidity, that can increase the ambient temperature. It might read as 80 degrees but could feel like 90. Just keep be mindful when your pet is outside and you will be fine.
Proper grooming is essential
If you own a dog with a thicker coat, consider getting him groomed during the summer. The double coat or extra long fur isn’t going to help your dog if he’s overheating. However, it’s better to pay a professional to trim their coats as you don’t want to shave their fur off completely. A dogs fur is very important to helping them regulate their core temperature and if you suddenly remove it, they could suffer from being to cold or to hot very quickly.
Don’t leave your dog in your car
Even if you are only going into the store for something quick, leaving your dog in the car can be fatal. Dogs have fur that helps them regulate their body temperature and as a car heats up, they can’t regulate it. The temperature in your car can rise as much as 20 to 30 degrees in 10 minutes. This will cause your dog to succumb to heatstroke quickly. Keep this in mind the next time you think you’ll be in and out of the store.
If you have these dog breeds, you should pay extra attention
If you have any short nosed or snub nosed dogs such as a Bulldog, Bug, Boxer, Boston Terrier, and more, they can succumb to heat exhaustion quickly. This is due to their short nasal passages which doesn’t allow them to regulate their temperature as easily as other dog breeds such as German Shepards or Labs.
At the end of the day, just be mindful about your dogs and how hot it is outside. If you have to leave the house, it would be better to turn on the A/C and leave them in a pen or crate. If they have to be left outside, then it’s best to provide them with sufficient ways to keep cool outside.