The warm weather has officially arrived! Temperatures are in the 90s and it’s easy for us humans to park ourselves in front of the AC or take a cold shower, but cooling off isn’t as easy for our pets!
Here are some tips for helping your four-legged friends stay cool this summer!
1. Seize the shade!
Your pets can become easily dehydrated. Whether you’re in the backyard or at the park, make sure your pet has plenty of areas where they can get out of the sun and cool down in the shade. Bringing along a portable water dish and a bottle of water are a great and easy way to keep your pup hydrated. If you decide to enjoy one of the outdoor dining experiences that Philadelphia has to offer, opt for a table in the shade so your pup can stay cool and ask for a dish of water.
2. Know the signs
Our dogs can’t sweat like we can. So when the temperature begins to climb, our pups start to pant. Panting is normal in warm weather or when your dog is exercising, but it is important to know the signs to determine if your pup is just cooling off, or in danger. An overheated pet can show different symptoms including excessive panting, rapid heart rate and drooling. In some cases animals can also have diarrhea and vomit. Dogs with flat faces and short snouts are more at risk for heatstroke because they cannot pant as well as other dogs. Let your dog be the judge of the heat. If you take your dog out, they will let you know if their long walk needs to be a bit shorter and is ready to head home. Humidity is also a factor. Even if the temperature may not be at its peak, strong humidity can also make it harder for your pup to cool down.
3. Stop the parking!
A parked car, even with a window down, can quickly become a hot box of danger for your dog (and humans!) So when you can, take your pup along with you, or if you have someone else in the car, let them stay with the dog outside while you run errands.
4. Avoid the big bang
Animals can get spooked by loud noises just like us. When you head out for 4th of July activities, it’s best to leave your pets at home. Never use fireworks around your animal, they can look a lot like toys or sticks and many contain things that can be harmful for your pet.
5. Sizzling cement
Just like dogs’ feet are sensitive to extreme cold in the winter snow, their paws are also sensitive to the hot pavement. If you can’t leave your hand on the pavement without pulling it away from the heat, chances are your pups’ paws can’t either. Opt for walking in the shade and on grass or dirt that will be cooler. For dogs with especially sensitive paws, the boots they wear in winter are also made for the summer. They help protect from the cold snow, but can also prevent burns and blisters on your dogs’ paws.
6. Get creative
Don’t rely on just the AC on those hot summer days. Try out a DIY peanut butter popsicle, or add chicken or beef brother to water to make some tasty ice cubes. There are also products such as vests and mats to help your dog keep cool.
Trust your pet’s instincts. Just like us humans, they know when they’re just too hot and ill let you know! Enjoy the summer sun with your pet. Whether it’s at the park or pool, or the ocean and a campground.
Be safe and have fun!