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Protect Your Pet from the Heat During the Dog Days of Summer

Summer is officially underway and with that comes sun, fun and heat! Don’t forget to protect your best friend by preventing heat stroke and danger related to the high temperatures.

Remember, dogs aren’t as efficient at cooling their body temperatures as we are — they’re built to conserve rather than release heat and tend to heat up much more quickly than we do. 

Here are some simple dos and don’ts to keep your best friend safe and comfortable during the summer months.

Dos
1. Always provide access to cold, fresh water. 

2. Create a splash pool or find a local watering hole that allows dogs to cool off in the water. For dogs who enjoy the water, simply laying in it can help bring body temperatures down.

3. Limit your dog’s exercise when temperatures rise. Consider shorter walks in the morning and in the evenings when the temperatures have dropped.

4. Protect your dog’s paws by limiting walks to grassy areas and other cooler surfaces or wait to take a stroll until the sun goes down. 

5. Make sure you know how to recognize the signs of overheating in your dog. They include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, staggering, seizures and loss of consciousness. 

Don’ts
1. Never, ever leave your dog in the car unattended. Even if the car is parked in the shade or it’s “only for a few minutes,” the temperature inside of a car can reach oven-like temperatures in just minutes. It’s also illegal; to-date, 31 U.S. states have laws prohibiting leaving an animal in a confined vehicle under dangerous conditions. 

2. Keep your dog away from surfaces that get hot from the sun, like asphalt and cement. Being near the ground can heat their body quickly and lead to paw and skin burns. 

3. If you suspect your dog is overheated, don’t try to force him to drink or submerge him in cold water— it’s best to seek immediate veterinary attention.