Don't leave your dog or any other pet in a hot car this summer, not even for one minute. The Arizona sun and our high temperatures can have a major effect on your dog’s health. Canines easily overheat because the only way they release heat is by panting and through a limited number of sweat glands between their toes. Here is a list of ways to keep your dogs cool and hydrated so they can enjoy summer as much as you do.
Don’t Leave Your Pet in an Unattended Vehicle
On a 75-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can climb up to 115 degrees within an hour EVEN with the windows down. A dog can easily overheat, or even die, if left in these conditions. As much as your dog or pets might like to ride in the car, do yourself (and them) the favor of leaving them home this summer. It will save you the trouble of worrying about your dog while you’re out and eliminate the chance you might forget the dog is in the car all together. Often, if a dog is getting hot it will lie down in the back of the car and this unfortunately all too often leads to owners forgetting the dog is in the car. Better to be safe than sorry for you and your dog.
Avoid Walking on Hot Surfaces Like Asphalt
Your pup’s paws can be as sensitive as the soles of your feet. If the asphalt or ground is too hot for you to walk on, chances are it’s too hot for your pup too. Alternate between the asphalt, sidewalk and grass while walking your dog so that its delicate paws don’t overheat and/or burn. If your dog is particularly sensitive, cover his paws with pet booties so he can stroll comfortably.
Provide Proper Outdoor Shelter
Does your dog or other pets like to spend their day in the yard? Whether it’s an awning or a tree, your pets need a shaded area to protect them from the sun and heat and where they can rest out of direct sunlight.
Supply Plenty of Fresh, Clean Water
Keeping a fresh, clean supply of water in your dog’s dish will ensure your pup and other pets drink more often and stay hydrated. Some dogs get a bit finicky about their water if there’s an odd scent in the bowl or if the water has gotten warm in the sun.
Bring fresh water for your dog when you go on a walk. Always grab a portable bowl and water bottle on your way out the door so your pup can drink even when you’re both on the go.
If it’s 85 degrees or hotter outside, leave your dog at home. Again, never leave your dog in a car during the Arizona summer, but even if you're vacationing at the beach and sitting out all day in the sun, that's something we humans enjoy but can leave pooches severely dehydrated. Even if you feel like the heat is bearable, remember, when dogs are exposed to even moderately high temperatures over an extended period of time their bodies can become unable to cool down.
Don’t Over-exercise Pets
Dogs don’t always know their own limits. If you notice your dog breathing more rapidly or having trouble chasing after a ball, slow things down and allow your dog to cool off and take a break. Outdoor activities are great, but instead of playing in the blazing afternoon sun, try tossing a ball around early in the morning and/or as the sun is going down. Walk during cooler times of the day so your pup still gets the exercise he needs with less risk of overheating.
Apply Sunscreen to Your Dog’s Fur & Skin
Despite their furry coats, dogs can still be exposed to and damaged by UV rays. Coating their fur and skin in doggy UV protectant sunblock will help prevent burns and keep them healthy.
Let Your Dog Stand or Swim in a Cool Pool
Aside from panting, dogs cool down through the sweat glands in their paws. Having them stand in a cool pool of water or even allowing them to go swimming is a great way to keep them cool in the Summer. Your pooch would also appreciate your giving him a quick foot soak to help lower his body temperature. It can also be helpful to put some cold water on your dog’s chest. Never use ice to help your dog cool down, as it may lower their temperature too quickly and constrict blood flow, which will actually inhibit the body from cooling.