by Jenni Riggs
It’s getting hot outside. It’s time for summer fun, but make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your dogs happy and safe in the hot summer sun.
Heatstroke is a serious issue with dogs when it starts getting hot outside. Therefore, it is important to know how to prevent it and what signs to spot.
A big cause of heatstroke and dog deaths every year is leaving dogs in hot cars. Even with the windows cracked, a car can reach dangerous temps in a short amount of time. On an 80-degree day, it takes only ten minutes for the car to reach 99 degrees, and it can reach 114 degrees within 30 minutes. It is best to leave your furry friend home on hot days instead of in the car.
Some ways to avoid heatstroke are: to go for walks or have vigorous play sessions only in the cooler hours of the day, always have plenty of fresh water, keep pets indoors during the day, and always watch for signs of overheating.
Signs of heatstroke include:
• Excessive panting and drooling
• Collapsing or extreme fatigue
• Increased heart rate
• Bright red tongue
• Thick/sticky saliva
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, get them to a cool place and offer them cool water (not cold.) Wet their coat with cool water (not cold) and call your vet immediately.
Another summer danger is hot pavement and asphalt. Dogs can get severe burns on their paws and damage their pads if it is too hot. Walking in the cooler hours of the day or on grass is the best protection for their feet. Test the pavement before walking them on it; put the back of your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds, and if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them. On an 86-degree day, asphalt can reach a temp of 135 degrees, so it is best just to avoid it.
Have a happy and safe summer!
Jenni is mom to humans and fur babies and is the owner of Mac-N-Charlies Pet Stop in Firestone, providing pet food, treats, and other goodies for four-legged friends.