Keeping Your Pets Cool this Summer
Arizona Summer is in full swing and it’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon!! We saw high temperatures early this year, so we have to remember to keep ourselves cool, as well as our furry friends. There are many ways to keep your dog from overheating this Summer, from cool treats to swimming, the possibilities are fun for both our two legged and our four legged friends.
Swimming With Your Dog
Swimming is one of the best Summer activities to do with your dog, but remember safety first! If you aren’t sure about their ability, start in a shallow body of water to get them used to it. Get in with them and help them learn to float by holding their back legs up while they paddle with their front legs. If your dog is using the swimming pool, make sure they know how to get in and out without assistance from you. A fence is also recommended to keep your dog from getting in the pool when you aren’t around.
If you’re heading on vacation and plan to take your dog into the ocean with you, be sure to bring fresh water for them to drink. Drinking salt water can make them sick. If your dog enjoys the water, but has a hard time swimming or you’ve planned a long day in the water, a dog life vest is an option to keep your dog safe.
The most important thing you can do for your dog this Summer is to keep them hydrated. However, keeping them hydrated doesn’t have to be boring. You can fill up a water bowl and pop it in the freezer until frozen solid to serve has a hydrating ice block. And for added fun, freeze a new toy in the center. There are also countless recipes for puppy popsicles, which includes freezing dog safe foods in water or broth for an added treat.
Provide Ample Shade and Water
Any time your pet is outside, make sure they have protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from heat—in fact, it makes it worse.
The Blacktop is 167 Degrees
Our friends over at Laveen Veterinary Center did an experiment with Dr. Ware to show just how how the pavement can be in the middle of Summer. Dr. Ware could only stand on the 167 degree blacktop with his bare feet for a mere 7 seconds. Please, please do not walk your dog in the middle of a hot Summer day. If you must, make sure there is grass for them to walk on or wait until the evening hours.
You can also invest in good booties to protect their paws from the heat. Any pet store or Amazon would carry these.
Watch for signs of heatstroke
Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. Some breeds of dogs—like boxers, pugs, shih tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke
Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a veterinarian.
Arizona Summers can be brutal for your pets, so always remember to take common sense into consideration. If you can’t walk barefoot on the pavement, then it’s too hot for your pet. If you have any questions about any of these topics discussed, please call us at 602-559-5500.