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Hot Dog: How to Keep Your Pup Cool in the Heat of Summer

Every year hundreds of pets left in parked vehicles die from overheating. Even when you crack the windows, your pet is at risk. The temperature inside the vehicle can go up almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise by almost 30 degrees.

In the summer, most people like to enjoy the heat outdoors. However, when the temperatures rise above 90 degrees, pavements are scorching and doggie parks are deserted. Your four-legged friends find comfort indoors and on surfaces like your kitchen floor. During the hotter months, spend time with your pet outdoors in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler.

Hydrated?

Water is vital to all known forms of life. It cools the body down to maintain normal body temperature and it lubricates and cushions the joints, making movement easier. Maintaining proper hydration is too important to your dog’s health to ignore. Improper hydration can contribute to signs of overheating, which usually include excessive panting or labored breathing. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to protect your dog from the dangers of overheating.

If your dog shows signs of overheating, try the following:

  • Hose the dog down with cold water
  • Offer cold treats like ice cubes
  • Place wet towels against the pads of your dog’s feet
  • Rub dog’s paw pads with rubbing alcohol

Everyday Cool Down Solutions

At home:

  • Keep him indoors as much as possible
  • Provide constant access to water
  • Offer your dog a place to get wet like a backyard kiddie pool
  • Provide a cooling pad

Grooming

  • Always brush coat to prevent mats
  • Purchase a shedding blade and groom your dog often until all of the undercoat is removed, or make regular grooming appointments and let our grooming professionals do it for you.
  • Shaving down your pet may also be an option; however, don't assume that all long-coated or thick-coated dogs can be shaved. Long, thick coats can help provide insulation in both cold and hot weather for some dogs. Removal of this natural insulation could cause overheating. Check with your certified grooming expert to determine if shaving is appropriate for your pet.
  • Dogs lacking dark pigmentation around their eyes, nose and ears and light-colored dogs can get sunburned. The incidence of skin lesions and skin cancer are higher in light-colored, white and albino dogs, so pet safe sunscreen should be applied.

Everyday Cool Down Solutions for Dogs On-the-Go

  • NEVER leave him in a parked car
  • Bring a water bottle along on walks
  • Stop in shaded areas
  • Avoid midday walks
  • Check on him often

Time to Call Your Vet

If you notice the warning signs listed below, which may be signs of a heatstroke, it is time to call your vet.

  • Panting excessively
  • Red or enlarged tongue
  • Sluggish
  • Unresponsive or extremely slow to respond

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