Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe During Heatwaves

Like most animal lovers, you probably cannot wait for summer and look forward to spending time outside with your dog when the weather is warm. You may enjoy a long walk or trip to the park to bask in the sun with your pooch. However, you should be aware of certain hot weather health hazards that can affect your dog or puppy in a negative way. Although any dog, regardless of its breed, can experience heat stroke or heat related illness, the breeds and categories listed below are most susceptible to such problems:

• Puppies
• Senior dogs
• Boxers
• Bulldogs
• Shih Tzus
• Pugs
• Pekinese
• Poodles
• Rat Terriers

The following are some important tips you can use to keep your dog safe and happy and avoid excessive heat exposure when spending time outdoors with your pet:

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car

Although most dog owners are aware of the fact that it is unwise to keep any pet enclosed in a vehicle, this warning is one that bears repeating. Always refrain from leaving your puppy or dog inside your car or truck even for a few minutes during warm seasons. This is because temperatures inside a car can easily rise as many as 40 degrees or more in a short length of time, regardless of whether or not cloud cover is present.

Unlike humans, canines do not perspire, and therefore it is much easier for them to become overheated in an enclosed space. Sadly, certain individuals have accidentally caused the death of their pets by erroneously thinking they can visit a few stores in the mall and get back in time to ensure that their dog is not overheated.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

It is essential to keep your dog's water bowl full at all times during hot weather. Certain breeds have been known to drink up to 50 percent more water during summer than during other seasons, and therefore it is in your best interest and that of your dog's to err on the side of caution: it is better to provide too much water than not enough.

Provide Additional Ways to Stay Cool

Adding ice cubes to your dog's bowl and placing a fan where your puppy or dog can sit in front of it are simple but effective ways to ensure your pooch stays cool. Inventive dog treats can also go a long way toward keeping your dog comfortable during summer. For example, a Kong stuffed with peanut butter or wet food and then frozen is a terrific summer treat. Not only will it have a cooling effect, but it is an ideal way to keep your puppy or dog entertained.

Take Walks Early Morning or Late Evening

Intense midday heat can easily overwhelm your dog during a walk. For this reason, the best time to exercise your pooch is early in the morning or late evening when heat and humidity are at their lowest. Avoid the hours when the sun is hottest, typically between 11am and 3pm.

Knowing the Symptoms of Heat Stroke

It is important to know the symptoms of heat stroke, regardless of how well you care for your dog. Classic symptoms of the possibility of canine heat stroke include the following:

• Fever
• Panting
• Vomiting
• Confusion
• Lethargy
• Fainting
• Excessive drooling

If you think your puppy or dog has experienced a heat stroke or is suffering from heat related illness, take your pet to the nearest animal hospital or veterinarian for professional help. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent organ damage, and therefore it is never wise to procrastinate if you think such an event has occurred.

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