As temperatures climb, focus on keeping every member of your family – including your dog – safe and healthy. Here are some do’s and don’ts.
Provide Plenty of Water
During the summer, make sure that your dog always has access to water, whether it’s in the house or outdoors. When you take your dog for a walk, bring along some water for both you and your pet.
Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car
If you take your dog with you to run errands, don’t leave it in the car while you go inside a business. Even if you’re only gone for a minute and the air conditioner is on, the temperature in the car can climb surprisingly fast. Extreme heat can cause organ failure or death.
Exercise Your Dog Safely
During the summer, walk your dog in the morning and evening, when the temperature won’t be too high. Limit running and other strenuous exercise in extreme heat.
Protect Your Dog’s Feet
If you take your dog for a walk on a road or sidewalk, the hot pavement can burn its paws. Stick to grassy areas or a trail in a nearby park.
Provide Shade When Your Dog Is Outside
If your dog spends time outdoors in the summer, it needs protection from sunlight. Your dog might be able to seek shelter under trees, on a covered patio, or under a deck. If a shaded area isn’t currently available in your yard, you can string a tarp between trees.
Keep Your Pet out of the Doghouse
You might think that your dog will be safe outside if it has a doghouse, but that’s not true. A doghouse has poor airflow and can get unbearably hot. Your dog needs a shelter with good air circulation.
Recognize Signs of Heatstroke
High temperatures can cause heatstroke in both humans and animals. If your dog is suffering from heatstroke, it might have a racing heartbeat and trouble breathing. It might pant heavier than usual, be lethargic or extremely thirsty, or be dizzy and uncoordinated.
Know What to Do If Your Dog Gets Heatstroke
If you notice symptoms of heatstroke, bring your dog inside or into a shaded area, use ice packs or cold towels to cool the animal, and give it cold water to drink. Take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Prepare for Power Outages
Create a plan to keep your family safe if you lose power during the summer. Have enough food, water, and medication for your dog and know which shelters in your area accept pets.
Keep Your Dog in the Yard
Dogs that wander can be hit by cars or get into violent encounters with other dogs and wild animals. In the summer, high temperatures add to the list of dangers.