How to Keep Your Dog Safe in Hot Weather

Posted: Jul 25 2018



Summertime is a time for fun. It’s the blissful time of year dedicated to nothing but lying on the beach, rolling in the grass, swimming in the outdoor pool, and backyard barbecue with family and friends. However, it’s easy to forget that summer is also fraught with danger for our pets. What seems to be bearable for us, might be extremely harmful to our four-legged friends.

Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin, and they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. This makes them more vulnerable to injuries and illnesses caused by hot weather including heatstroke, sunburn, and foot pad burns.

Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe in the hot summer sun.

1. Leave your pets at home

Need to run some errands and want to take your pet with you in the car? Please don’t. Studies show that on a 75 degree day, even with windows cracked, temperatures inside a car can rise to 100 degrees in 10 minutes. Temperatures in dark colored vehicles can increase even more, reaching temps of 200 degrees. Dogs’ panting exchanges warm body temperature for cooler air outside. If the outside air isn’t significantly cooler than their body temperature, their cooling system doesn’t work and they can get heatstroke. You might think leaving your dog in a parked car for “just a minute” is not a big deal, but it is actually life-threatening for your pooch. So please don’t take the risk.


2. Always Keep Shade and Fresh Water Accessible

Pets need access to cool water and shade to keep their temperature down. Always keep your home cool for your pets as they lose moisture much faster than humans. If you need to go outside and leave your pet at home, close the blinds to reduce the heating effects of sunlight through the windows.

3. Take Walks During the Cooler Hours of the Day

If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Avoid walking your dog in the heat. Aim for mornings and evenings when taking your dog outside. Don’t let your dog walk on the hot pavements as their paw pads can burn on heated roads. Test the road surface with your hand before walking.


4. Be Sensitive About Exercise

When it’s too hot for your dog to exercise outside, keep their minds occupied with some puzzle games, play hide-and-seek or fetch inside, and give them some homemade frozen treats to keep them cool. Simply slice up bits of bananas, freeze them and give them to your dogs as a treat.

5. Know the Symptoms of Overheating in Pets

  • Raised temperature (101.5° is normal)
  • Rapid breathing and panting
  • Excess salivation and thickened saliva
  • Fatigue or depression
  • Muscle tremors
  • Staggering

 If you spot these signs, immediately contact your vet.



Make sure to remember these potentially life-saving hot weather tips and have fun with your furry friends this summer! Don’t forget to share these tips with your friends.

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