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Hot Dog! Keep your furry friends safe from heat this summer

With summertime coming in, we need to be aware that it can be a tough time for our dogs too. Dogs may get lazy during the summer heat so here are my favorite ways to keep your dog cool and happy during the hot summer months!

1) Keep out of the sun

Your dog should not be kept out in an area where they cannot find any respite from the heat. If they are outside, make sure there is plenty of shade available for your dog. Preferably, keep your dog inside an air conditioned house during the hottest parts of the day. If air conditioning isn’t available, sometimes a cooling mat or wet towel on the floor can give them a cooler area to chill out.

2) Exercise at cooler times

Avoid being out in the heat during its peak time. There may be points in the day when the temperature drops and those are the times to get your exercise in. But remember, if it’s too hot, it’s absolutely ok to miss walks and a great way to substitute outside exercise is with…

3) Focus on enrichment instead

Activities like scatter feeding, kongs (you can freeze them for a little more chill), or even toys, frozen in a block of ice can serve as fun enrichment and to keep your dog cool. You can also get a little extra exercise with tug toy, a flirt pole or a swim.

4) Water is really important

Make sure that water is available all day long. Dehydration happens really quickly in hot temperatures, so make sure you keep their water bowls topped up and feel free to add the occasional ice cube.

5) Don’t always trust a weather report

If the air temperature is 87°, asphalt can have a temperature as high as 147° and you know you can fry an egg at 131°… It’s good to know that 80° is about the limit of what you can safely walk in day to day, but shade and streams can help you walk when it’s a little warmer.

6) Consider your dogs breed and weight

If your dog is overweight, brachycephalic (flat faced), a puppy under the age of 6 months or elderly, or if you have a snow dog, you should definitely be extra cautious because their abilities to tolerate the heat is lesser.

7) Don’t leave your pets in your car for any length of time

It’s just not worth it.

8) Watch out for symptoms of heat stroke

Symptoms to look out for with a heat stroke is a lack of coordination when they’re moving, diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, a reddening of the gums and panting. If you do notice these symptoms, it’s time to head to the vets. Be ready with a cool wet towel over their chest to try and reduce their core temperature.

9) Humidity makes it harder to sweat

Your dog can only lose heat by sweating through their paws and by panting and humid days make this difficult for dogs to regulate their body temperature.

-Article written by Ali Smith

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