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Blog Keeping Your Pets Safe From the Heat

 

Living in South Florida, there is no doubt that the temperatures can get incredibly high. If you are hot, then your dog likely is too. You need to learn how to keep your dog cool, especially after exercise. After all, he can’t tell you when he is too hot, so you have to take preventative action.

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Pet Cool

When it comes to how to keep your dog safe from the heat, there are several things you want to do. Some of these are minor changes, while others may require more effort or an initial investment.

Give Him Plenty of Water

Start by making sure that your dog has access to enough water. It is easy to become dehydrated in hot weather. The solution is as simple as keeping your dog’s water bowl filled with clean water. If your dog is outside, try putting the bowl in the shade, so the water doesn’t heat up too much.

Provide Shade When Outside

If you are outside with your dog, make sure he has a shady spot to go under. Your dog will likely alternate between the sun and shade. Providing a shady area gives him the ability to choose what is the most comfortable.

Walk in the Morning and Night

If your schedule allows for it, take your dog on his longest walks early in the morning or at night. Your goal is to have his most strenuous exercise when the sun is low instead of at its peak. This doesn’t mean you can’t take your dog for a quick walk in the middle of the day; just keep it short. After all, the simplest way to keep your dog cool in hot weather is to avoid the hottest times of the day.

Remember His Footpads Are Delicate

Walking your dog in the morning and at night does more than keep his overall body temperature in the normal range. It also reduces the risk of hot asphalt burning his footpads. Even if your dog doesn’t accidentally burn his footpads, if they overheat, this can affect his body temperature overall.

The solution is to avoid making him walk on the pavement when the sun is at its peak. If you aren’t sure if the pavement is too hot for his paws, check it with your hands. If you still need to take him out, put some dog booties on him.

Don’t Shave Your Dog

You may feel tempted to shave your dog during the hot summer months, but you shouldn’t. It seems like a logical method of how to keep your dog cool in hot weather, but it does the opposite. That is because your dog’s fur actually acts as an insulator, helping your pet to stay cool. It is also a natural barrier that functions like sunscreen.

Cool Off With Caution

You and your dog both likely love swimming to cool off in the hot weather. But you shouldn’t assume that your dog loves the water or can swim. Not all dogs can. In a practical sense, this just means that you should make sure your dog is supervised anytime he goes in the water. This is true whether he is with you or at a dog daycare in West Palm Beach with a pool.

Use Gadgets to Keep Your Dog Cool

You may also want to consider some gadgets to keep your dog cool. Options include fans, pools, and frozen treats. You can look for fun water bowls, such as those with fountains that encourage your pup to drink. There are even self-cooling mats and cooling vests available.

Signs of Heatstroke to Watch Out For

As a pet owner, you should learn how to tell if your dog has heat stroke. This lets you take action right away and ensure your dog stays healthy.

Some of the warning signs include:

  • Lethargy
  • Excessive panting
  • Bright or dark red gums and tongue
  • Stumbling
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

What to Do If Your Dog Has Heatstroke

Anytime that you think your dog has heatstroke, take him to the vet right away. Your vet will likely suggest quickly cooling him down with cool water that is not icy. You can wet him with a sponge, hose, or bath. You should also encourage your dog to drink some water, as this will prevent dehydration.

The important thing to remember is that even if you think your dog seems fine, always take him to the vet after you notice the above symptoms. The high temperatures may have caused internal organ damage.

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