Dog Care

Dogs and Heat – Protecting Your Dog When It Is Hot

dogsandheatWhen the weather is nice and sunny it can be quite enticing to go outdoors and have a good time. There are so many things you can with your dog, from throwing a Frisbee or stick to hanging out at the beach. However, care must be taken when dogs and heat are involved.

There is a danger that your dog will get sunburn, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. The good news is that you can prevent these things from happening to your dog. We already talked about keeping dogs cool in summer. Now let us take a look at a couple of other dangers.

Sunburn Protection

You might not have considered it before but the sun can burn your dog. Areas that are particularly sensitive are the nose, ears, and lips. You can try to keep your dog in the shade between the sunniest hours of the day. These are usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you are not able to stay in the shade you can put some dog sunscreen on her nose and other sensitive areas.

You should not put sunscreen on your dog’s lips as it is not safe. You just need to keep an eye on them to be sure there is no sunburn. Any blistering needs to be examined by a veterinarian.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Have you ever left your dog in a parked car? If so, it’s definitely time to stop. In fact, leaving a dog in a car is the number one reason that dogs get heat stroke. They can also develop it if they are too active on a very hot day and don’t have a shady spot to go to.

If your dog is overweight or has a history of lung or heart disease you need to be extra careful. Older dogs are particularly susceptible to getting heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

It’s best to leave your dog in your air conditioned home if you are going to be out running errands. If you must take your dog with you it’s best to leave them in the car with the air conditioner still running.

Try not to take your dog exercising with you. Some people like to take their dogs power walking, jogging and cycling. If your dog falls behind or seems overly hot or tired it might be time to call it a day.

There are some dogs that live outside. These owners need to be especially careful and provide a shady area for them to go during the day. There are ventilated doghouses and umbrellas that can do the trick.

If you have an older dog it is best to keep in them inside no matter what when it’s very hot. You might even want to keep a fan on your dog to make sure he stays nice and cool.

Finally, keep an eye out for danger zones such as hot, black pavement, the bed of a truck, or beach sand. If you allow your dog to be on these areas he might get blisters. Stick to grassy areas if at all possible.

Water is Essential

Giving your dog water is one of the number one ways that you can prevent heat problems for your dog. Be sure there is clean, cool water available at all times. This will stop dehydrations and other heat problems in their tracks.