How to Keep Your Dog Safe from Hot Days?

How to Keep Your Dog Safe from Hot Days?

How to Keep Your Dog Safe from Hot Days?

It’s summertime and the mercury is rising!

Maybe you want to stay inside in the cool air instead of going out.But your puppy still has all that puppy energy. So what can we do to burn it off while it’s burning up outside?Here we have some tips on hot weather on how to treat your puppy.

First let’s talk about some safety things. Heat can be very dangerous for dogs.Dogs don’t have the cognitive skills to know when to slow down or when they need to get some water,so the human needs to really help them out by taking frequent breaks from physical activity.And some breeds have physical traits that make it even harder to cool down.Even if your dog just likes to sunbathe,  it’s still pretty important to watch the time and keep it to just a few minutes.Dogs loves to follow the sun and because he’s inside, that’s no problem.But if we are outside… well I have to watch my puppy the way I’d watch a toddler.Dogs can get sunburns too!Some people ask me “When is it too hot to go outside?”There’s not a hard and fast answer for that.It will depend on if the dog is in direct sunlight, what kind of surface they are on and what they are doing.If it’s 90 degrees in the middle of the day on hot pavement, this is NOT going to be a great plan.But if it’s 90 degrees and it’s dark and you’re walking leisurely through the grassy park... that might work out!The most important thing you can do is1) test all surfaces with the back of your hand for 10 seconds to see if it’s too hot to be comfortable and 2) understand the signs of heat stroke in your dog and watch her carefully.

Heads up, here are a few signs that your dog might be experiencing heat stroke Excessive panting. A higher than usual heart rate. Confusion or the dog seems disoriented. Vomiting or diarrhea. Gums might be bright bright red.If you can measure the body temperature, a threshold for concern is 104 degrees.Collapse, seizure, or even a coma I didn't mean to scare you with all of those,but it’s important to know, so you can prevent any kind of accident or injury. For this and other reasons you might want to have a thermometer on hand. Heat stroke can happen even in cooler weather, depending on your dog and how hard she is playing. Short nosed breeds are at higher risk of heat stroke because they don’t get as much oxygen.Pug owners, did you hear that? I’m counting on you to be extra careful!Let's talk about how to cool down a hot dog.Even if the dog isn’t showing all the signs of heat stroke, if you are concerned, it’s always good to take action.The first thing you’ll want to do is move to a shady area or inside.Then you can get the dog wet with lukewarm water.Do NOT cover the dog with a towel, even if the towel is cold.A dog’s body is naturally designed to cool down and she needs to sweat out the heat.If she wants to drink water, that’s fine, but don’t force it.Continue all these attempts until the panting stops.And of course, if you are concerned, always check with your vet.So if you’ve determined that it’s just too hot to go out at your usual time,let’s talk about how to still get in that puppy exercise that she needs.

How can you exercise your puppy if it feels like the outside is on fire??Well first, evaluate if there is a different time of day that would be appropriate for a gentle walk.The coolest time of day is just before dawn.That might not be when you want to hit the road,  but maybe you can head out as soon as you get up.It’ll probably be quiet and relaxing and it’s a great time for a decompression walk.Second, try to find a grassy area instead of the concrete.Concrete just absorbs that heat and radiates it back out.If you step into a grassy area you’ll probably instantly feel that it’s cooler.And the smells are much more interesting for our dogs.If she wants to lie down, that’s OK too! She might like the feeling of the cool grass on her skin.We never want to force exercise if the dog doesn’t seem to be feeling it.And remember that mental exercise like sniffing, scavenging, foraging and hunting can also tire out a dog,much like a complicated test will tire out us humans.You can also try a walk at night.It will be better to take a walk in the middle of summer, a 5 minute walk before bed was just what the dogs needed to take care of that last potty break and be ready for the night.A night stroll is really not very different from a day stroll.A dog’s nose leads the way and her nose works just as well at night!

Regardless of the time of day you head out, be sure to check the pavement for temperature.And be sure to check different surfaces.The street might be hotter than the sidewalk, depending on the material used.If you can, get to some grassy area.You’ll find it’s a lot cooler than the pavement. Take note of any parks in your area and use those for the hot days.If the path to a park is on hot pavement, you might have to drive there, even if it’s within walking distance.She’ll appreciate the outing just the same.Between getting up early or staying up later, altering our walking path or driving to cooler areas,it’s likely you’ll have to make some sacrifices to meet your dog’s needs during this weather.It won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last time you've made an adjustment for your dog’s health, safety and happiness!Some people feel that the temperature outside is fine, but the pavement is hot, so they use dog booties to resolve this issue.Dog booties are one of the hardest things to get a dog used to.You often have to start when they are very young.

I have worked through this process a few times with dogs I’ve trained, but it takes a long time.And unless you keep up with the desensitization, it’s often uncomfortable and stressful-for both of you! And it’s rarely worth it.Dog booties are really best for dogs who are doing hard work like search and rescue or hiking on really rough terrain.It’s better to solve this issue using your human brain to find the right time and place for a walk.Speaking of walks, the type of walk you do in hot weather might need to be a little different.

I encourage you to build in decompression walks as often as your dog seems to want them.These walks are a little slower, a little more relaxed, they require less obedience from the dog and allow for lots of mental energy to be expended.During the hottest days you might have to save that heart-pumping exercise for some games of fetch inside the house,which is why all that sniffing of a decompression walk might be just the walk you need!These walks are also often in areas that are cooler, like grassy areas or tree filled parks.