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Hot Weather Dog Tips

by Coach Lilly

It’s June and it’s starting to get hot hot hot! Summertime means fun in the sun with your dog, but it’s a good idea to keep these hot weather health and safety tips in mind to help protect your dog from extreme hot temperatures.

Take your outside walks in the early morning or late evening.

Dogs love to play outside and in general they will go where you go, but you will need to watch out for your pet to make sure she doesn’t overdo it. The American Protective Association of Missouri advises that early morning and late evening are the best times for your dog to get exercise outdoors because it is cooler at those times. The heat during the middle of the day can be too extreme for dogs. They can even burn their paws on the asphalt if it is a super-hot day. If you can tell that your pet is getting overheated or uncomfortable, offer her a drink or even pour cold water on her. Get her into the shade or an air-conditioned place until she cools down.

Never leave your dog inside a parked car.

For the same reason, never leave your dog inside a parked car in the summer. The heat inside a parked car can be dangerous or even deadly to your pet, especially if your dog is very young or old. Temperature spikes can happen extremely rapidly, even if you crack the windows open to let in outside air. The temperature inside a parked car can get to over a hundred degrees in less than half an hour. The reason that this is so dangerous for dogs is that dogs cannot cool themselves as efficiently as humans can, and they can easily overheat. If you know you are going to have to leave your dog locked in the car while you are running errands, you should leave your dog at home.

Play it cool, pup, real cool.

 When your pup is playing outside on a hot day, make sure that you are providing shady places for her to rest and plenty of cool water to drink. You can find stylish sports-themed water dishes right here on! Dogs can have a lot of fun in a kiddie pool too! But if the day is really really hot? Your dog might be better off staying inside an air-conditioned home.

You’ll also want to make sure that your dog has an appropriate haircut for the summer weather. You shouldn’t shave him entirely, because his skin could easily sunburn, but you can give his longer hair a trim. Talk to your veterinarian or groomer for more advice on the best warm weather grooming for your dog.

Recognize the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

 Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are real medical emergencies for dogs. Here are some of the signs to watch out for: increased panting, lack of coordination, thick drool, dry gums, or a dark tongue. In more extreme cases there could even be vomiting or diarrhea.

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, stop whatever you are doing immediately and get your dog into a shady or air-conditioned area and wet her down with cool water (not ice water) if possible. You could also try placing cool wet towels on your dog. Once she is cooled down, you should take your pet to the vet to make sure there is no lasting damage that you need to treat.


Following these guidelines will help you and your dog to stay cool and have a terrific summer!

What are your best tips for keeping your dog cool in hot weather?



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