Summer is on its way, which means that long, hot days filled with sunbathing at the pool and trips to the beach are among us. While summer days can be carefree and fun, there are still precautions that you must take in order to ensure that you’re happy and healthy. Does reapplying your sunscreen and remembering to stay hydrated ring any bells? Just like you, your dog loves to play outside and bask in the sunlight; however, there are dangers that come with warm weather. Curious on how to protect your pet from the heat? We’ve got you covered! We sat down with our Charlotte dog trainers to find out the best ways to keep your dog cool in the summer heat.
Q: When are the best hours during the summer to take your dog(s) on walks or let them play outside?
A: In the mornings before 11 am or in the evenings after 6 pm. The biggest thing you want to watch out for is the humidity level. High levels of humidity will cause dogs to overheat way before high temperatures will. So be mindful if it’s very humid or muggy…your dog will not last as long being outside.
Q: Signs your dog might be overheated?
A: Pay attention to the tongue. The dog’s tongue will become dry, then start to swell, and eventually start to curl back or hang out of the side. These are all signs that your dog needs water or to get out of the heat. It’s also always best to make sure your dog has water available at all times when outside in the heat.
Q: Best activities for keeping your dog cool, but still active, during the hotter days of the year?
A: It’s good to play at parks with lots of shade. If your pup likes to swim, look for slow moving creeks, ponds, or lakes. You can also take a walk through a pet-friendly store. Try a trip to the pet store or Lowe’s and Home Depot, which are both very dog friendly. Not only will you get your shopping done, but your pup will get some good exercise in a safe, air conditioned space without risking burned paws or overheating.
The next time you try to take your dog for a walk, or let him or her outside to play, make sure that the weather conditions are safe. Another tip is to ensure that there is a place for your dog to relax in the shade with a big bowl of water. And always remember…if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.