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  • Writer's pictureLiz Harmon

Ensuring Your Pet's Safety During the Hot Summer Months

As the days grow longer and temperatures soar, this can pose significant risks to dogs, who are more susceptible to heat-related issues than humans. Ensuring your dog's safety during the hot months is crucial to keep them healthy and happy.

Understanding the Risks

Dogs do not sweat like humans do. They primarily cool off by panting and through the pads of their feet. This makes them more prone to overheating and heatstroke. Certain breeds, especially those with short snouts (like Bulldogs and Pugs), older dogs, and those with existing health conditions are at higher risk.

Symptoms of Overheating

  • Excessive panting and drooling

  • Lethargy or weakness

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Uncoordinated movements

  • Collapse

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to act quickly to cool your dog down and seek veterinary care immediately.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool

1. Hydration is Key

Ensure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times. When heading out, carry a portable water bottle and a bowl. Dehydration can set in quickly, especially during vigorous activities.

2. Provide Shade and Cool Resting Areas

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure there is ample shade. This can be from trees, tarps, or specially designed dog houses.

3. Avoid Peak Heat Hours

Plan walks and outdoor playtime during the cooler parts of the day. The pavement can get extremely hot and burn your dog’s paws. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws.

4. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car

Even with windows cracked, the temperature inside a parked car can soar within minutes, leading to fatal heatstroke. If you can't bring your dog with you, it’s best to leave them at home.

5. Use Cooling Products

Consider investing in cooling mats, vests, or bandanas designed to help regulate your dog’s body temperature. These products can be a lifesaver during the hottest days.

6. Limit Exercise

During extreme heat, limit your dog’s physical activity. Too much exertion can lead to overheating. Opt for short, frequent walks instead of long, strenuous ones.

7. Grooming

Regular grooming can help keep your dog cool, but avoid shaving their coat completely. A dog’s fur acts as insulation against both cold and heat. Trimming long hair and ensuring the coat is free of mats can help air circulate better.

Fun Summer Activities with Safety in Mind

Summer doesn’t mean your dog has to stay cooped up indoors. There are plenty of safe ways to enjoy the season together:

  • Water Play: Let your dog splash in a kiddie pool, run through sprinklers, or enjoy a swim in safe, dog-friendly bodies of water.

  • Frozen Treats: Make homemade dog-friendly ice treats. Frozen broth, fruit pieces, or yogurt can be refreshing on a hot day.

  • Cool Walks: Explore shaded parks and trails. Nature walks in the early morning can be both enjoyable and safe.

Your dog’s safety during hot temperature months requires a bit of extra vigilance and care. By understanding the risks and taking proactive measures, you can ensure that your furry friend stays hydrated and happy all summer long. Stay cool and enjoy the sunshine safely!


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