Summer is here, and along with it, the temperatures are rising and sidewalks steaming with many experts predicting the hottest summer on record to date. If the weather is stifling and uncomfortable for us, just think how our pets must feel. Without a question, hot weather brings a host of dangers for our beloved dogs – primarily the risk of overheating which at their extremes can be life-threatening unless you take the proper precautions. To help, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers some must-know advice to help protect your four-legged friend from the heat this season.
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Breeds with pushed-in faces like Bull Dogs and Boston Terriers can find it tougher to breathe in warmer weather, so leave these pets indoors and only take them on very short walks to keep them safe during hot days.
Keep Dogs Groomed
Animals with thick and heavy coats definitely feel the heat, so groom your pets to keep them comfortable as temps rise. If you plan to shave away some of the coat, makes sure to leave at least 1 inch of topcoat to protect your pet from the sun. Their skin can burn too!
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Always take fresh drinking water on walks or outings for your pets. This is especially important if you bring your four legged friend along on trips where they may be sitting outside for a long time. Also, make sure their bowls at home are always filled with cold water, especially when Fido hustles inside from being in the great outdoors.
Protect their Paws
Walk your pets early in the morning or at dusk when the sun isn’t out and the ground has cooled. If you decide to bring your pets to summer events like parades or carnivals, provide them with plenty of shade, the hot asphalt can burn their paws, just like it burns out feet if we walk on hot concrete or sand.
Because dogs do not sweat, they release extra body heat through panting. So definitely check out the way your pet is breathing.
Know & Watch for the Signs of Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke
- Common signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include
- Loud, heavy panting, gasping for air, and/or huffing and puffing
- Abnormally rapid heartbeat High body temperature over 104 degrees.
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Anxiety or agitation, confusion, dizziness,
- Uncoordinated walking, and/or fainting
- Lethargy or weakness
- Muscle tremors, shaking, and/or seizures.
Seek Medical Assistance
If you notice any of the symptoms of canine heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call or take your pet to the vet immediately.
|Image from AMVA|
For more pet-friendly advice and news visit the AVMA official website as well as follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
FTC Disclosure: The information in this post is provided as a community service and is not meant to replace professional veterinarian advice. I did not receive any payment or other compensation in association with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.