The warm days of Summer have arrived, and it seems as if they are here to stay for awhile longer (fingers crossed!). What is better than enjoying the sunny weather with your furry four-legged buddy?! That is right…Nothing! BUT…there is something very important to always remember and prepare for, and that is taking proper safety precautions against the heat. We will share some tips and pointers with you so you can enjoy those nice hot sunny days while we have them!
It’s a Saturday morning and the light rays are gently waking you up. A reminder that today is supposed to be over 23 degrees Celsius and you plan on spending the day in the sun. You spring out of bed; your dog greets you as if they have not seen you for years (as per usual), tail wagging like they know they have a fun adventure ahead of them. You open the front door and WACK! The heat hits you right in the face and its not even 10 am yet. Now chances are if you find your environment hot, your dog finds it much hotter. Its very important to ensure that before you head out on walk that you have the items necessary to keep your dog hydrated and to avoid over-heating.
Did you know that depending on what breed of dog you have; they may be more susceptible to heat stroke? This is largely due to the difference in face shapes and lengths. For example, Pugs and French Bull dogs have a more difficult time panting due to having a flatter face, thus giving them a more difficult time bearing the heat and a greater chance of getting heat stroke. This does not mean that they should not be in the heat. But it does mean you have to keep an even CLOSER eye on them for any visible symptoms of heat stroke. It is also important to note that overweight dogs, or dogs that have pre-existing breathing issues will face a tougher challenge in the heat and requires a very close eye. Shorter walks or even avoiding the heat for longer periods of time is something that should be strongly considered when the heat is turned on high.
Just like us humans, our dogs need water much more than usual when temperatures rise over 23 degrees Celsius. In fact, on a normal day your dog should be getting an ounce of water for every pound of weight (i.e. 70lb dog should get 70 ounces of water). However, in the heat they need even more. It is a good habit to get into to pack an extra water bottle full of cool water and a collapsible dog bowl on every walk. Since dogs do not sweat like we do, the resort to panting to cool themselves off. If you notice any panting, its likely time for a quick drink. The HydroSmart Flex Water Bowl is another great and easy option to keep your pup hydrated!
Planning Your Route
What a better way to cool off than a nice chill river, lake, or pond to hop into! If you notice its quite a hot day, maybe consider planning a route before hand that includes a water source (always check for signs or updates on things like whirling disease first). A quick roll around, swim, or a few gulps of water will bring down your dog’s body temperature and help stay on top of overheating. Keeping your dogs body temperature under 104 degrees is vital and finding some water to play in is a perfect way to do so. If it’s a deeper body of water, or a quick current we would suggest picking up the RCPets Tidal Life Vest for extra safety precautions and peace of mind. In addition to planning your route, sticking to grass or softer surfaces will be a benefit to your dogs paws as asphalt or cement attracts heat and will blister your dogs pads if walked on for too long.
Apparel and Accessories
Implementing these tips into your hot summer walks with your pooch will keep them in good shape. There are however some items that can help prevent heat stroke or overheating. The Mud Dog Travel Shower is a small but handy little gadget which resembles a shower head. You simply twist onto the top of most water bottles and BOOM! You have a water bottle shower. Very easy to use and convenient when you need to cool your pup off quick without wasting an entire water bottle.
Another fantastic item you should include in your dogs Summer arsenal is the GF Pet Ice Vest! This easy to use vest is designed to keep your dog cool & comfortable on those hot days or on the go. Equipped with elasto-fit technology it expands for the perfect fit, keeping your dog cool for up to 6 hours.
These are some precautions you should take before embarking on a walk in the summer heat. If symptoms are being displayed of overheating or heatstroke then take your dog indoors immediately and get in contact with your vet.