It’s that time of year again pet parents! The sun is shining the temperature is rising and it is getting HOT here in the south. This is a good time to talk about what is best for your fur baby during this time of year.
Many clients schedule walks during the middle of the day between 11 am and 2 pm. This is when it is really starting to heat up! The pavement is hot, the air is hot and humidity is high. If you are hot, then your fur child is too.
I have done my research in order to keep my clients happy and healthy all year round, but summer heat can be a hazard. The following are some great tips that I have gathered and will continue to use through the dog days of summer.
- Exercise early or late in the day before the outside furnace turns up. This keeps you and your fur baby more comfortable when exercising and just being outdoors. Keep longer walks as suggested for early and late times of day. My walks are tailored to my clients. Some clients can take the heat better than others, but walks are shortened in order to avoid heat stroke.
- Most people don’t consider humidity when exercising our four legged family member. The humidity can affect your pet as much as the heat. Animals pant to cool themselves. When the humidity is very high your fur baby has a hard time panting which evaporates the moisture from their lungs which takes the heat away and helps cool themselves. Heat and high humidity are a bad combination.
- Hydration is the key! If I am thirsty chances are my furry client is thirsty too. I carry a couple water bottles so we both stay as cool as possible. We also get a drink before we get started. Dehydration is just as common in our four legged family members as it is in us.
- Have you noticed your pooch going for areas in your home where there is no carpet to lay down? This is because dogs cool from the bottom up. A damp cool towel or cooling mat is suggested for your baby to lay down on to help get the body temperature down. By applying cool water to the pads of your pooch’s feet will also help cool them. I keep extra towels available to cool the pads of my client’s paws, for those who will allow their paws to be touched. Another option I use is to retire to a cool comfortable spot and provide more cool refreshing water. Remember hydration is the key.
- 5. Heat stroke is no joke! There are several signs that I pay very close attention to. I encourage my pet parents to be aware of these bodily changes. Exaggerated panting or sudden stop of panting, Rapid or erratic pulse, Salivation, Weakness and muscle tremors, lack of coordination, Convulsions or vomiting and Collapse. What to do if you or I see these signs: IMMEDIATELY move to a cool shady place, Wet your dog with cool water, Fan vigorously to promote evaporation, DO NOT APPLY ICE! This restricts blood flow. Give cool water to drink. Take your pooch to the vet to be checked out.
As you can see there are many factors that play into your dog’s health during these hot dog days of summer. Keep it simple! If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet too!