It’s that time of year where it only takes a few minutes of activity for a dog’s body temperature to rise to a dangerous level. Please be mindful during the hot temperature days, especially those where the humidity levels are high. Even if you can easily tolerate a 5 mile run, remember that you A) aren’t wearing a fur coat and B) have sweat glands throughout your body! A dog’s only means for releasing body heat are through their paw pads, nose, and mouth through panting.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available.
- Do NOT exercise your dog in extreme heat. Take your dog for his or her daily walks before the sun comes up or after the sun has set, and keep them brief.
- Do NOT leave your dogs in the car. If you have to leave the dogs unattended in the car, make sure you can do it safely with the vehicle running with the air conditioning on. If you cannot do this, please leave your dog at home. Read my previous article about leaving dogs in cars here.
- The obese, elderly, very young, and brachycephalic breeds (think short-nosed breeds like bull dogs, pugs, shih tzus, etc.) are at an increased risk of heat stroke.
- If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, in addition to plenty of water, always make sure they have plenty of shade available in a well-ventilated area. A dog house sitting in the middle of the yard in full sun is not appropriate.
Check out this article for more information about hyperthermia in dogs.
Please keep your pets safe. In the extreme heat, and always.