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How to Protect Your Dog from Summer Heat

Updated on April 25, 2010

Keep your dog safe this summer

How to protect dogs from summer heat,click, morguefile.com
How to protect dogs from summer heat,click, morguefile.com
Guardian Gear Polyvinyl Chloride Large Dog Pool, Red/Blue
Guardian Gear Polyvinyl Chloride Large Dog Pool, Red/Blue

Give dogs cooling relief from the heat. Caution: Do not leave pets or small children unattended near pools. Empty pool after use.

 

Summer is often a much anticipated season for dog owners across the globe, eager to spend more time outdoors in company of their canine companions, however, often dog owners seem to forget that dogs are deprived from the capability of sweating, and therefore cool down, as efficiently as humans. This often results in dogs over heating easily and even becoming victims of a potentially dangerous medical emergency, known as ''heat stroke''. 

There are several easy guidelines dog owners can follow in order to ensure their four legged friend is protected from excess heat. The first of course, is by acknowledging that dogs are much more easier to suffer from the effects of the heat and therefore must be protected, the second is by preventing dogs from getting over heated  in the first place, and the third is learning how to recognize warning signs suggesting the dog may be nearing the first signs of heat stroke. 

How to Protect Dogs from the Summer Heat

While all dogs are quite vulnerable in very hot summer days, there are breeds that are much more in danger because of their conformation. These are dogs with very heavy coats, black coats, or Brachycephalic breeds with very narrow nasal passages such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers and Pekingese. Also dogs suffering from heart  or pulmonary conditions are predisposed to over heating, as well as dogs that suffer from seizures or fevers. 

• Don't Keep Dogs Unattended In Vehicles

This basic rule is known by most dog owners, however, each summer a few stories of dogs dying after being left  unattended vehicles in the summer still make it on the headlines. The general rule of thumb is to practice extreme caution and never leave the dog unattended even if for a few seconds.

 Don't  Leave Dogs Out in the Heat

While humans may dislike staying out in the heat and can't wait to retreat in the air -conditioned homes, dogs have much more reason to stay indoors when heat waves strike. Dogs should never be left outdoors without water and shelter as a general rule, but when digits rise high, it is best to invite dogs inside to enjoy the cool air as well.

 Don't Leave Dogs on Hot Surfaces

Often dog owners do not realize the effect hot surfaces such as asphalt or concrete may have on a dog's paw pads. Serious burns may take place easily on a hot, sunny day. Walks on days like these on such surfaces are discouraged and early morning or late evening times are better.

 Watch out for Hot and Humid Days

Allowing a dog to run about and undergo strenuous exercise on very hot and humid days is counterproductive. The reason behind this is that when the temperature in the environment gets very close to the dog's internal temperature the dog's cooling system may no longer be efficient as it is supposed to be. This may ultimately lead to heat stroke.

 Use Sun Screen

While human formulations of sunscreen are not safe to use on dogs because of their zinc oxide content, there are some vet approved sunscreens now that can help protect dogs from harmful UVA rays. Dogs in particular that benefit from such sun screens are those with white muzzles and ears. Some breeds predisposed to sun burns are Shar Peis, white Pit Bulls, and Chinese Crested Hairless dogs.

Recognize Heat Stroke Signs

Recognizing the early signs of heat stroke may hep prevent it from becoming life threatening. Owners should be watchful for heavy panting, difficulty ands noisy breathing, tacky saliva. Heat stroke typically takes place  when the dog's rectal temperature measures over 104 degrees. A normal dog's temperature ranges between 99.5 to 102.5. It is always important that all dogs victims of heatstroke seek veterinary treatment because of the risk of complications.


As seen, there are many ways to keep your dog out of harm's way and safe this coming summer. Keeping fresh water always around and monitoring your dog for signs of suffering from the heat are great ways to ensure your canine companion stays cool and well hydrated during the dog days of summer. 


Great products to keep your pooch cool this summer

K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed Large Gray 32" x 44"
K&H Pet Products Cool Bed III Cooling Dog Bed Large Gray 32" x 44"

We're now keeping pets cooler than ever with the new, Cool Bed III. No electricity is required to operate the Cool bed III and these beds are attractively designed and allow a cool spot for dogs. Simply add the recommended amount of water through the easy fill cap and burp with the new easy air adjustment valve. Our unique Cool Core diverts the liquid better than ever throughout the bed for advanced cooling power. The new nylon/vinyl exterior is tougher than ever!! Being extremely affordable, the Cool bed III is the choice for any dog owner looking to offer their pet a comfy, dry, cool place to relax. Recommended for indoor and outdoor use.

 

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    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 7 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Good advice. You are correct, that even though we beleive everyone should know better than to leave pets in cars, we hear of a pet or baby death every summer due to just that.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

      Great advice, Well done on bringing this to everyone's attention

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      All words of wisdom, great hub and I am so thankful that you are sharing this with many dog owners, very important info...thumbs up

    • Patti Ann profile image

      Patti Ann 7 years ago from Florida

      Excellent advice - rate this one up. We always take our dog for his long walk early in the morning before it gets too hot.