Summer brings with it the opportunity for outdoor activities, travel, and of course increased time in the sun.
Though we might not mind the heat, our canine companions are not as equipped at withstanding hotter temperatures.
Dogs have two methods of staying cool. Panting and sweating through the pads of their paws. While panting helps to keep a dog cool, it is also is a metabolic expense for the animal as it allows the animal to cool by evaporating water and heat on the lungs, tongue, and mouth.
You can imagine that these two methods are not the most efficient for temperature regulation. It is up to pet parents to make sure that their dogs always have the option to move to a cooler space.
Never leave your dog in a hot car. Temperatures can quickly rise even with the windows open, and leaving your dog in a hot car is illegal in many states under the cruelty statute because your dog has no reasonable means of removing themselves from the vehicle to seek relief.
In the hot summer months, it is better to leave your pup at home as it only takes a few minutes for heat stroke to set in.
If you are spending time outside with your dog, make sure that your they always have access to clean water and make sure that they can find relief from the heat through a shady spot or cool soil.
Take reasonable precaution by exercising your dog in the early hours of the morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.
Keep in mind that the pavement on a hot day can burn your dog’s paw pads. Allow your dog to walk on the grass, or take them to a wooded trail to protect their paws from the hot asphalt.
Puzzle toys, kongs, and even practicing training or learning new cues indoors can be a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated on a day where spending time outside is not ideal!