Portions of this article originally appeared on NexPet.
It’s a warm one out there! Here are some ideas to keep your dog comfortable in these summer months:
Stay indoors with the AC… always an option. Wait til cooler parts of the day to walk your dog.
Take water with you on your walk, for both of you. After a walk, a bowl of ice cubes will help your dog cool off without gulping water. Reflective mesh tarps deflect heat and create a breezy, shady cool spot. Some dogs love to hang out in a kiddie swimming pool — others just dig themselves a cool spot in the dirt under some bushes.
Toys that can be water soaked and frozen chews are popular with many dogs, along with cool collars that can be water-soaked.
If you are out on the water, consider both goggles and a float jacket for your pet. Be sure to bring fresh water and don’t allow too much wild play in the salt water.
Heatstroke results from a dog becoming overheated and is a medical emergency. Signs include:
- Excessive or loud panting
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent vomiting
- A bright red tongue and pale gums
- Skin around muzzle or neck doesn’t snap back when pinched
- Thick saliva
- Increased heart rate
First aid for heatstroke — remove the dog from the heat and let them rest in a shaded, breezy area if they cannot be brought indoors. Offer cool water, but do not force. Cool chicken broth can be offered. Ice is not recommended. Cool the dog with a hose — but do not submerse as the shock of over-cooling is not beneficial. Cool water on the pads of the feet and cold packs on the belly and between the hind legs will also help bring the dog’s temperature down. Wipe with cool wet towels, but don’t cover the dog as the towel will trap heat. Get the dog to a vet.
Be aware of outdoor temperatures and your dogs’ activities. Take steps to keep them from overheating before it’s too late.