Avoid Letting Your Dog Get Overheated in Hot Weather
Keeping your canine cool in the summer heat not only ensures his comfort but also prevents such health problems as dehydration and heat stroke.
Safeguarding your dog from summer’s high temperatures is your responsibility as a conscientious owner. At the risk of pointing out what should be common-sense measures, here are things that all “cool” dog owners do for their best friends:
- Ensure that your dog has fresh water and shade, with short periods outside in hot weather.
- Never leave your dog in a sunbaked car—even with the windows cracked. The outdoor temperature might be in the mid-60s, but inside a closed car the temperature can hit 130 degrees in minutes. The dog’s body temperature increases the heat and moisture (especially for large dogs) inside the car. If the windows are closed, a dog will use up the oxygen inside the vehicle.
- Let your dog gradually acclimate to hot weather and don’t exercise him on hot, humid days. Conditioned sporting dogs, even water retrievers, can overheat if the water is warm.
- Make sure your home is cooled on warm days. Consider installing a temperature alarm in your home that dials your cell phone should the air conditioners or electric power fail in your absence.
- When crating your dog, don’t place the crate where there is inadequate ventilation.
A little research will tell you whether your dog’s breed is particularly sensitive to heat. Breeds with double coats are vulnerable to overheating and dogs with dark coats absorb heat faster in the sun. And it’s important to keep an eye on elderly dogs and those with respiratory inefficiency, such as bulldogs, during the hot summer days.