When the weather finally starts to warm up and people emerge from their houses after the long, cold winter, it feels great to spend lots of time outside. Driving around with the windows down is a wonderful summer pastime – and what better way to enjoy it than to bring your four-legged companion along for the ride?
But when the sun is high and you have to run into the store to pick something up, what do you do? Even on a temperate summer day, the heat of the sun can quickly turn a car into a sweltering oven. Today, we have some important information that can help you keep your pets safe when it comes to car travel and other summer activities.
If it’s a scorching hot day outside, there are a few things you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy in spite of the sizzling weather.
- Provide water. Always make sure your dog has access to fresh water to avoid dehydration and other dangers of heat exposure.
- Keep it low key. Refrain from giving your dog strenuous or lengthy exercise time on extremely hot days and, if possible, avoid physical activity in the afternoon when the sun’s heat is at its worst.
- Stay out of the sun. If you are able, it’s best to leave your dog somewhere with shade to escape from direct sunlight.
- Know the signs. Heatstroke poses a huge risk to our canine companions and can possibly be fatal. The signs of heatstroke include panting and drooling excessively, rapid heartbeat, and fever. If your dog appears to be suffering from heatstroke, immerse them in cool water and seek veterinary attention immediately.
Perhaps the issue we hear about most when it comes to dogs being exposed to the elements in the summer is car safety. It’s critical to never leave your dog unattended in a parked car on a hot day – after all, even when it’s just 80 degrees outside, the interior of a car can reach as high as 120 degrees in a very short amount of time.
Even leaving the windows down doesn’t cut it – if you must leave your dog in the car on a warm day, consider leaving the AC on and providing a spill proof container of water for your dog to drink from.
Taking your dog to the beach can also be a great way to spend a warm summer day – but it’s important to know what to do to keep them safe in the surf and on the sand. First and foremost, just like our other tips, it’s important to provide shade and fresh water – limiting your dog’s exposure to the direct heat of the sun is critical. Some dogs can actually get sunburned (shorthaired breeds are especially prone), so you’ll definitely want to keep them from staying out in the sun too long. You can also apply sunblock to their nose and ears before going outside.
Also, if your dog enjoys swimming, then by all means let them play in the water. But try to limit the amount of cool seawater they drink – it can be tempting to our four-legged friends, but the salt in the water can make them sick. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to make sure your dog is well-hydrated before you head out.