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Keeping Your Dog Safe From The Heatwave/Summer Heat

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An intensive heatwave is expected to hit the Southern U.S. — and it’s not going away any time soon. It’s predicted to last for weeks, and temperatures can rise to more than 100 degrees. This is extremely dangerous, not only for humans, but for our pets too. 

According to The Guardian, “The National Weather Service had numerous excessive heat warnings in place across a 2,000 mile swath stretching from southern California through to Mobile Bay in Alabama. Potentially record-breaking temperatures are expected in southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas.”

Heatwave or not, it comes as no surprise that most areas can get very hot during the summertime. Humans and animals are at risk for heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke. While summer is a great time to let dogs run around a dog park, it’s imperative that we keep our dogs safe from overheating. 

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Heatwave or not, it comes as no surprise that most areas can get very hot during the summertime. Humans and animals are at risk for heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke. While summer is a great time to let dogs run around a dog park, it’s imperative that we keep our dogs safe from overheating. 

Here are some tips for keeping your pup healthy and cool this summer:

Indoors:
~Make sure it is cool inside by keeping the AC and/or fans on
~Give your pup frozen treats; this can be as simple as an ice cube with a treat inside of it or a frozen chew toy
~Make sure your pup has plenty of water at all times
~Ensure your pup’s water is cold; put ice cubes in the water dish if necessary
~Have a cooling pad or a cool spot for your dog to be able to lay down
~Make sure you have shaded spots inside
~Keep your dog’s coat; it actually keeps them cool in the summertime just like it keeps them warm in the wintertime
~Consult your vet or groomer if you want to change your dog’s coat

Outdoors
~Bring a water dish (collapsable) on walks or any time you’re outside; make sure you have cool water on hand for your pup
~Provide a kiddie pool, sprinkler or hose for your dog to splash around in
~Keep an eye out for shaded spots when in a dog park or on a trail
~Bring a shade screen, tarp or cloth for shade if there isn’t natural shade around
~Check the pavement to ensure it’s not too hot before having your dog walk on it
~Consider dog booties/shoes if the pavement is too hot or if your dog is extra sensitive
~Bring frozen treats with you 
~Take your dog outside in the early morning or evening, when it’s less hot outside
~Check the humidity; if it’s too humid outside, your dog may not be able to pant and cool down
~Bring a spray bottle with you (ideally filled with cold water)
~Put dog-friendly sunscreen on fair-skinned dogs who may burn (especially on their noses and ears)
~If it’s extra hot, avoid bringing your dog outside at all
~Monitor your dog’s activity; if your pup seems like she or he needs a break or water, provide that
~NEVER leave your dog in a hot car alone
~Avoid long trips in a car with your pup

Watch for signs of overheating/heat stroke:

~High or raised temperature; 101.5° is normal
~Rapid heartbeat
~Quick breathing and panting
~Trouble breathing
~Excess salivation 
~Thickened saliva
~Fatigue 
~Depression
~Muscle tremors
~Staggering while walking
~Weakness
~Agitation
~Dark/red tongue and gums

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately get him or her to the vet. In the meantime, make sure you take every precaution to cool him or her down. Summertime is fun, but your dog’s health and safety are always the number one priority. 

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