How to Protect Your Dog From Heatstroke

Summer is for fun, and you want to be active; however, you must make some accommodations to keep your canine pal safe. Here are some tips to keep your dog from overheating during the hottest months of the year:

  1. Exercise – keep your walking and running hours to before 9am or after 9pm. Running a dog during the hot summer daylight hours can be deadly.  A dog’s pads are also very sensitive to hot pavement which can cause injury.
  2. Water – Change your dog’s water more often in the summer, and make sure he or she has access to cool, clean water and shade at all times. Play time in a sprinkler or kiddie pool can also offer some relief.
  3. Grooming – If you have a longer fur variety of canine, consider giving the dog a closer cut; however, do not shave your dog as dogs need some protection from the sun. Leaving at least 2 inches of fur on a double-coated dog is best.
  4. Car Rides – If you take your dog on a car ride, be prepared to take him with you to your destination. Never leave a pet or child unattended in a hot car, even for a minute. The temperature in a parked car can rise 20 to 50 degrees above the outside temperature in a matter of minutes.
  5. Boat Rides – open boats without cover can easily cause your pet to go into heatstroke. If you must take your pet on this type of boat, be sure to bring lots of drinking water. You can also fill a spray bottle with ice and water and spray your dog down as needed.
  6. Leaving Your Pet at Home – Often times, it may be best to leave your pet at home if you need to be outside in full sun. If you do, be sure to fill the water bowl, draw the shades and turn on the a/c.

Being mindful of your pet’s needs can ensure you have a fun summer without any surprise trips to the vet. A little common sense can go a long way while keeping your dog healthy, happy, and cool.