The Essential Guide to Protecting Your Dog This Summer Heat Wave

The Essential Guide to Protecting Your Dog This Summer Heat Wave

To say that this summer is hot is an understatement, with states like Arizona reaching record levels of 120 F (49C), flights cancelled, and people burning their hands on door knobs. The sidewalk has definitely passed points of being able to fry an egg on it, and is most certainly too hot for human skin or pet paws. Without signs of this heat wave relenting anytime soon, this is going to be a long summer, and so it’s important we review a few tips to protect your dog this summer heat wave.

Dog lying on beach in summer

Protect Those Paws

At the peak of this heat wave, the tarmac can get to temperatures as high as 160 F (71 C). What this means for those of you who like me need a bit more of a visual aide, this is hot enough to cook a ground beef on. Unless you want your skin or your dog’s paws to suffer the same fate as hamburger meat, then you need to protect your dog’s paws with dog booties designed to withstand the heat or just avoid walks in the middle of the day. Save the walks for either the early morning or evening.

Extra Water

A general rule of thumb is that your pooch needs about 0.5 to 1 ounce (15ml to 30 ml) of water per pound of body weight per day. Now in a heatwave, your dog is going to need extra water, so be sure to check your dog’s water bowl more frequently and be super generous with the water portions. Dogs like humans also sometimes don’t drink as much water as they should. A good way to check to see if your dog is hydrated enough is to check out his gums. A hydrated dog’s gums will be wet and glossy, whereas, a dehydrated dog’s gums will look more dull and be a bit stickier to the touch. Another way to check is to press on his gums. If the gums go from white back to pink within 1 second. If it takes longer, then most likely, they are dehydrated.

Dog in car

Do Not Leave Your Dog Inside a Car

I’d think this one would be very obvious now, but just in case, we are going to mention it anyway. You shouldn’t leave your dog inside a car even when it’s mildly warm, and definitely don’t do it in a heat wave. You think you can just run in really quickly to buy a pack of gum. It will only take a second you say. No!

Find Fun Ways To Keep Cool

Okay, so a heat wave sucks, but there are ways your dog and you can still have fun while keeping cool. A yummy frozen pupsicle will keep your dog cool and happy. (Cass’s favorite is the Banana Pupsicle) Dogs cool from the bottom up, so you can also put on the sprinklers (if there isn’t also a drought) for your dog to enjoy running through or a cold, wet towel to lie on in the shade. If it is too hot to go for a walk, swimming is a great exercise for your dog while keeping him cool.

dog running through water

Time For a New Fur-Cut

There’s no better time to switch over to that summer haircut for your dog than a heatwave. Keeping your dog’s fur short will help it keep clean and free from mangles and tangles while alleviating some of the heat. Just be sure you still keep an inch or so to protect from the sun’s rays.

Hopefully, this heat wave will pass soon, but until then, we hope these tips for keeping your dog cool this summer was helpful. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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