Tips for Keeping Dogs Healthy in Hot Weather
Hot weather can be tough for even humans to handle, and we’re not stuck wearing fur coats 24/7. For a dog, hot weather can be harmful, even deadly. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your dog stays healthy and happy in scorching weather. Here’s some tips that will help you help your dog.
#1 Keep them hydrated!
Just like people, dogs need to stay hydrated to avoid heatstroke and worse. During hot weather, make doubly sure that your dog has access to cool, fresh water whenever he needs it. If you leave your dog outside for long periods of time, consider filling a bowl with ice so he’ll have something cool to drink.
#2 Keep them cool!
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget that dogs are constantly bundled up in fur, making them more sensitive to heat. Leaving your dog unattended in a car, even in milder weather, can be deadly as temperatures rise.
Never leave your dog in the car for extended periods of time, and always crack the window – not enough for them to escape, of course, but enough to ensure air circulation. In temperatures in the 70s and above, don’t leave your dog in the car, period.
He’ll be much happier somewhere he can be in the cool and the shade. Speaking of which, even when your dog is at home, you should make sure that he has a cool place to retreat to.
#3 Keep them away from summer dangers!
Not all hot-weather hazards are directly related to the temperature. In summertime, there are other risks to consider for your outdoor pets. Chances are, your dog will be spending a lot more time outside, and will come in contact with poisons such as slug bait or leaked anti-freeze.
If you see your dog acting strange, take him to the vet immediately. He may have ingested something without your knowledge.
You can help minimize risks by using a less toxic antifreeze in your own car, and instead of traditional slug bait, use all-natural copper barriers or containers of beer to lure and drown slugs. (You don’t want your dogs drinking beer either, of course, but it’s less dangerous than sweet, appealing, poisonous slug bait.)
#4 Be mindful of fireworks!
Even if your dog hasn’t reacted badly to fireworks in the past, there’s no telling what loud noise or bright light might suddenly set him off. Make sure that your dog is in a safe, contained place when people start setting off their fireworks.
If he experiences high anxiety, consult with your vet to get him a mild sedative for the holiday. You’ll both be much happier!
#5 Don’t let them escape!
Some dogs are mellow and love spending time outside, and won’t run away if given the chance. But if your dog is the skittish type, or a scent-driven hound like beagles or bloodhounds, they shouldn’t be loose outside.
In the summertime, when windows and doors are often left open, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog. Use skylights and windows that your dog can’t reach to air out the house.
#6 Travel smart!
If you’re taking your dog on a plane, be mindful of the fact that the cargo hold is not temperature-controlled. Try to travel during times when the heat – both at home and at your destination – will be mild. If you’re leaving your dog at home, make sure that you leave them with a reputable petsitter who will care for them the way they deserve. When it comes to your dog’s safety, it’s simply not worth cutting corners.
#7 Keep your pet safe from theft!
If you have a purebred or “designer” dog, pet theft is a constant concern – and thefts increase during fine weather. Make sure that your dog is microchipped in a place that can’t be cut off, like the back of his neck.
Remember that an invisible fence only keeps your pet in the yard – it doesn’t keep intruders, and possible thieves, out. A tall fence that will present a barrier to people is ideal.
#8 Keep your dog safe in the water!
Whether your dog is swimming a clean pool or a lake in the woods, keep his safety in mind. A dog should never be left unattended in or near a pool, as they may forget how to get out or drown for some other reason.
Before taking your dog to swim in a lake, make sure he’s been treated for fleas and ticks. Keep an eye on him afterwards to see if he develops discharge in his eyes or ears, which could indicate an infection that needs veterinary attention.
#9 Keep your dog safe on the beach!
Many dogs love to run and play on the beach, but in hot weather, be sure not to let them become overtired. Always ensure that they have a shady place to retreat to. And provide access to fresh water, since drinking seawater can make them sick. And if he goes swimming, the minerals can irritate his skin – wash him off when you get home.
#10 Above all, be conscientious!
The most important safety tip is to keep your dog’s well-being in mind at all times. If he seems unhappy, make sure he has everything that he needs to be comfortable. Your dog will appreciate it!