The days are getting warmer, and it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors with your pets. But it’s important to remember to protect your dogs from the sun, as they are susceptible to heat stroke and burns just like humans.
Whether you are taking your dog for a walk around the block, or for a long hike in the woods, here are some tried and true tricks to prevent overheating or heat stroke and keep your dog safe in the summer heat.
Carry ice water
On hot days, ensuring your dog has access to water at all times is key. On longer hikes, carrying a collapsible bowl in your pack can be an easy way to keep your dog hydrated and cool. But when you know you will be out in hot temperatures for a while, it can be helpful to freeze a water bottle before you leave so your dog’s water stays cool for hours. Always be careful of your dog’s limits. Never force water down your dog’s throat, as he/she can choke. And when it comes to extremely hot temperatures, make sure to feed cold water to your dog slowly so it doesn’t shock their system.
Keep away from asphalt and cement
Did you know that when it’s 77 degrees outside, asphalt in the sun can be as hot as 125 degrees? To give you some perspective, you can fry an egg at 131 degrees! Dark asphalt soaks up the sun fast and can be much hotter than the ambient temperature. The pads on the bottom of your dog’s feet are made to protect him/her from rocks and hot or sharp surfaces, but they have their limits. When temperatures get hot, try to keep your dog away from asphalt, concrete, or other hot surfaces, and stick to grass and dirt. If you notice your dog getting “stubborn”, or laying down and refusing to continue walking or hiking, this is a red flag that his/her paws might be too hot.
Give your dog a new hairdo
Naturally, your dog’s hair will shed when the temperatures get warmer to make way for a “summer coat”. But sometimes this shedding isn’t enough to keep him/her cool in the heat. A lightweight haircut can help prevent overheating, but be careful not to shave right to the skin. Just like humans, dogs can get sunburnt from the sun – especially on the belly, nose and ears.
Never leave your dog in a parked car
On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside of a car can soar to 100 -120 degrees in just a matter of minutes – even in the shade. On a 90-degree day, it can take just 10 minutes to heat the car up to 160 degrees. Both situations are much too hot for your dog, and can be disastrous. Never leave your dog in your car in the heat, even if it is just for a few minutes to run an errand. When in doubt, keep your dog home.
Looking for more tips? Visit the Wagz blog at www.wagz.com/dogpark. Wagz smart dog collar tracks your dog’s temperature and sends you alerts when it is at a dangerous level. To learn more about how to monitor your dog’s temperature on hot days, check out www.wagz.com.