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Ensuring Your Dog’s Safety During the Summer

May 15, 2024

The summer heat is already here! While many pups love summer, those high temperatures can pose a significant risk to your beloved pet. You’ll have to take certain measures To keep your four-legged friend safe and comfortable when temps rise. A local Plano, IL vet offers some insight on this below.

What Temperature Is Too Hot For A Dog To Be Outside?

Exercise caution whenever the temperature exceeds 80 degrees. However, for certain puppies, temperatures above 75 can be hazardous. Huskies, for example, can be quite uncomfortable during the summer months due to their thick fur.

If the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, pet owners should be extremely vigilant. Anything above 100 poses a significant risk.

How Can I Keep Fido Cool During The Summer Months?

Water is the most crucial thing. Fido should always have access to fresh water. Provide additional water stations if you have a large home and/or multiple dogs. Adding a few ice cubes to your pet’s bowl is a good idea on hot days.

Also, always have water with you when you take your furry friend out and about. A doggy water bottle with a dispenser is a great option for keeping your pup hydrated on the go. This is a useful item to have in your car, along with a supply of bottled water.

Your furry friend should always have access to rooms with proper climate control. Ensure that your pet has access to a shaded area if they have a yard to frolic in and chase squirrels.

Those are the top two. However, there are many other things to consider. Here are a few of the key ones:

  • Consider changing Fido’s schedule for walks and playtime. Walking him during the cooler parts of the day, such as mornings and evenings is best. It’s important to note that the pavement can retain heat even after sunset.
  • Your dog will also love having a cozy bed. Raised beds stay cooler than regular ones because they allow air to flow beneath them. Another option is to position a fan towards or above the bed. Just make sure Fido cannot accidentally knock it over and harm himself.
  • Cooling mats or pads are perfect for dogs struggling with hot weather. Do some research before purchasing as there are plenty of different versions available.
  • You can also store a fresh towel in the freezer and place it in your pet’s bed.
  • Wet a bandana and hang it around your pup’s neck. Fido will be cooled off as the water evaporates. (This is also adorable.)
  • Don’t forget grooming! Some dogs may find a cute summer hairstyle more suitable for their comfort. Indeed, certain puppies possess fur that should never be trimmed. A haircut could potentially harm Fido’s fur if he has a double coat.
  • Paw care is also important. Your pup’s furry feet can easily get burned on scorching ground. Consider using paw balm or wax to protect your pet’s paws, and make sure to keep them away from hot surfaces. If the ground is too hot for you to walk on without shoes, it’s also too hot for your dog!
  • We also can’t overstate the danger of leaving Fido in a car. Never leave your beloved pet alone in a vehicle. Temperatures inside parked cars can quickly reach dangerous levels in just minutes.
  • You’ll also need to keep up with wellness care. Summer is also a prime time for ticks, fleas, and, unfortunately, encounters with other animals. Fido should also be spayed or neutered, microchipped, and up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite prevention. If your pet is overdue, reach out to your veterinarian to schedule an appointment.
  • If you have a yard, consider getting a kiddie pool for your furry friend to enjoy. Fido might also have a great time playing in the water with a hose or doggy sprinkler! (As you can probably guess, this is also really cute to see.) 

What Cold Treats Can I Give My Pup?

We all enjoy indulging in a refreshing treat during those scorching summer days. This is an adorable way to get that little tail wagging.

Ice cream made specifically for dogs can be found in numerous pet stores—even Ben and Jerry’s has one! Or, experiment with creating your own. There are many recipes available online. Stick with ingredients that are known to be safe.

You can also make your canine pal some pupsicles. Your furry friend is sure to adore this simple and delightful treat! Arrange Dixie cups on a tray, then carefully add water or sodium-free broth. Place them in the freezer until they firm up slightly, then insert a chew stick into the center of each one and allow them to freeze completely.

Broth Cubes are also a big hit with our canine companions. This recipe is also quite simple. Just pour sodium-free broth into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Additionally, you can enhance your dish by incorporating shredded meat, bacon bits, shredded cheese, peas, canned chicken or tuna, or safe fruits and veggies.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Overheating?

Our furry friends can become dangerously overheated in hot weather. Man’s Best Buddy can’t sweat to cool off, except through his paw pads. While panting can provide some relief, its effectiveness is limited.

You’ll typically notice panting as the initial sign that a pooch is getting hot. If a dog has been running and playing, it’s normal for them to pant a bit. However, if Fido is panting heavily, it could be a sign that he is too hot.

Here are some other warning signs to watch out for:

  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Shaking
  • Red or discolored gums or tongue
  • Reduced/Dark Urine
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion

If you observe any of these signs, take immediate steps to cool down your pet and contact your veterinarian. Fido can be given lukewarm water to drink. Another effective method is to spritz him with water or gently run a cool, wet cloth over him. Your veterinarian will provide you with specific instructions.

Enjoy Your Time with Your Beloved Pet

Now is the perfect opportunity to have some enjoyable adventures with your beloved four-legged companion. Make sure to spend some quality time with Fido in the evenings by playing fetch or taking him for a leisurely walk in a beautiful park.

Is Swimming Beneficial For Dogs?

Swimming can be a wonderful choice… or it can be quite risky. The outcome varies based on the dog. Some dogs have a great time splashing and playing in water. Labs and Golden Retrievers, for instance, excel at swimming and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Swimming is not recommended for brachycephalic dogs like pugs. Due to their short airways, these individuals can encounter significant difficulties even in shallow water. Your veterinarian can provide valuable insights on whether swimming is suitable for your beloved pet, Fido.

Whether Fido is swimming or not, any time you take him near water you should adhere to the same water safety guidelines as you would for a toddler. Never leave your pet unattended near water, even for a minute!

Schedule an Appointment at Our Plano, IL Pet Hospital

Is your dog in need of a check-up? Are you seeking answers regarding your dog’s health or care? Get in touch with us, your trusted Plano, IL pet hospital, today!

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