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Keeping Your Canine Pal Safe In Summer

May 15 2024

Summer is the ideal time for Man’s Best Friend to enjoy his favorite doggy activities, such as hiking, camping, playing, and swimming. On the other hand, the high temperatures can be very dangerous for your pet. Taking some precautions can help keep your pup safe and comfortable. Below, a Fox Lake, IL veterinarian provides some helpful advice on helping Fido beat the heat.

When Is It Too Hot For A Dog To Be Outside?

Whenever the temperature rises over 80 degrees, you’ll need to be cautious. Certain dogs may face risks when exposed to temperatures exceeding 75 degrees. Consider Huskies, for instance, with their luxurious coat of thick fur. That heavy coat is ideal for cold, snowy weather, but can be pretty uncomfortable during the summer. When the temperature goes above 90 degrees, be extra vigilant. Anything over 100 is extremely dangerous for your beloved pet.

How Can I Keep Fido Cool During Heat Waves?

You’ll need to take some extra steps to keep Fido safe. After all, he can’t turn down the AC or point a fan at himself!

  • Water is the most important thing. Making sure that Fido always has access to fresh water is crucial. If you have a big home or several furry companions, it may be wise to consider incorporating extra water stations. Feel free to add a few ice cubes to your pet’s bowl during the hotter months. Always have water with you when you take your furry companion out and about.
  • Adjusting Fido’s daily routine for walks and playtime might be worth considering. Schedule outings for him during the cooler parts of the day, like mornings and evenings. 
  • Your canine buddy will absolutely love having a cool bed. Getting a raised bed can also help. This type of bed remains cooler compared to others as it allows for air circulation underneath. 
  • Consider getting your beloved pet a practical dog water bottle with a built-in dispenser. Keeping this in your car, along with some bottled water, can be incredibly handy.
  • Make sure that your furry bff has access to areas with climate control. If your canine companion has a yard to play in, ensure that there is a shaded area.
  • Cooling mats or pads can also be helpful. These are great for pups who struggle in hot weather! Do some research before making a purchase; there are many varieties available. You could experiment with keeping a chilled towel in the freezer and placing it in your pet’s bed. Or, hang a moist bandana around his neck. Fido will experience a sense of rejuvenation as the water evaporates, which provides a cooling effect. (Also, your furry friend will look absolutely adorable.)
  • If you have a yard, get your furry friend a kiddie pool. Fido could also enjoy playing in the water from a hose or doggy sprinkler.
  • Never leave your canine buddy in a vehicle alone. Temperatures inside parked cars can rapidly become lethal!
  • Make sure that Fido has been neutered or spayed, has a microchip for identification, and is current on vaccinations and parasite prevention. If it’s been too long since your pup has come in, call your doctor to set up an appointment.
  • Grooming is crucial as well. Some canines like fashionable summer haircuts. However, many dogs are better off without having their hair trimmed. If Fido has a double coat, getting a haircut could damage his fur. Feel free to reach out to your Fox Lake, IL vet for further details.

Can I Take My Dog Swimming?

Maybe … it depends. Swimming can be a fantastic option… or it can be quite risky. It ultimately boils down to the dog. Some pups love playing and having a blast in the water. Labs and Golden Retrievers, for example, are highly skilled swimmers and absolutely love being in the water. For brachycephalic dogs such as pugs, however, swimming can be extremely dangerous, even in shallow water. If you have any concerns about whether Fido is suited for swimming, talk to your veterinarian.

What Treats Can I Give Fido When It’s Hot Outside?

We all love a cool and delicious snack on those hot summer days. Fido also enjoys treating himself to a delicious frozen treat! This is a charming method to elicit a joyful wag of the tail.

Pupsicles:  Have some paper cups on hand, such as Dixie cups. Place them on a tray and carefully fill them with sodium-free broth and/or water. Additionally, you can also merge the two. Pop them in the freezer until they become slightly firmer, then carefully insert a chew stick into the center of each one. Let them freeze completely. Just pop one out whenever you feel like giving Fido a treat.

Broth Cubes: Pour sodium-free broth into an ice cube tray and freeze. Elevate your dish by adding shredded meat, bacon bits, shredded cheese, peas, canned chicken or tuna, or a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Stick with safe options, though.

Doggy Ice Cream: A variety of pet stores offer ice cream that is specially formulated for dogs. Even Ben and Jerry’s has one! Why not give it a try and create your own? The internet offers a vast array of recipes to explore. Stick with ingredients that are considered safe and reliable.

How Can I Tell If Fido Is Getting Too Hot?

When the weather gets hot, our furry companions can easily overheat. Fido can only sweat through his paw pads. Panting helps, but it’s not enough. 

You’ll typically notice heavy panting as the first sign. It’s normal for dogs to pant a little after exercising, but if your canine pal is panting excessively, it might mean that he’s too hot.

Here are some more warning signs to be aware of:

  • Trembling
  • Discolored Gums
  • Reduced Urine Output
  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion

If you see any of these symptoms, immediately take steps to cool down your pet and get in touch with your veterinarian. Offer Fido a cool bowl of cool water. Another effective technique is to use a spritz of water or gently apply a cool, wet cloth to him. Avoid exposing him to cold water, as it may potentially induce shock.

Your Fox Lake, IL veterinary clinic or emergency vet can give you clear and detailed instructions.

How Do I Keep Fido’s Furry Feet Safe?

Don’t forget about the potential for paw burns. Protect your furry friend’s feet by applying paw balm or wax and ensuring they steer clear of hot surfaces. If the temperature is too high for walking barefoot, it’s also too hot for your pet!

Enjoy Summertime With Your Canine Pal

Now is the ideal time to enjoy some quality time with your furry best friend. Be sure to spend some quality time with Fido in the evenings by engaging in a game of fetch or going for a relaxed stroll in a picturesque park. Spending time with dogs is truly rewarding!

Book An Appointment At Our Pet Hospital

Does your furry bff need a check-up? Can I help you with any concerns or questions about your dog’s health or care? Get in touch with us, your Fox Lake, IL pet hospital, today!