As the weather gets more and more unbearable and our sweat stains get larger and larger, we have to keep in mind that we aren’t the only ones suffering from the heat—our furry best friends are dealing with it too! With their layers of fur and fat, it’s safe to say that as much as we complain about the summer heat, our dogs might just have it worse than we do. There aren’t many things they can do to alleviate the heat themselves, so remember to give them a hand!
Here are a few things for you to remember:
Do not leave them in your car.
I feel like this is pretty standard knowledge for dog owners, but it never hurts to mention it again. On a 75-degree day, it only takes 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach 100 degrees. Now can you imagine how unbearable it would be in this record-breaking weather? To put it into context, your car will reach 140 degrees in 15 minutes. If you can’t survive it, your dog can’t either.
Leave them lots of water if you plan to be out all day.
No matter how well you train your dog, I’m positive they still aren’t able to pour themselves a glass of water when they’re feeling parched. Your dog relies on you heavily to make sure they’re well fed and taken care of, so if you plan to leave your pet for the day, make sure they have plenty of water to stay hydrated!
Walk them earlier in the day and/or later in the evening.
Have you ever needed to go fetch the mail on a hot summer day and were too lazy to find a pair of flip flops to wear outside and decided to take the risk and run outside barefoot? Did you enjoy the third degree burns your bare feet suffered from the pavement? I can assure you that your dog definitely won’t. If the ground is too hot for you to rest your palm against for more than 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your poor puppy’s paws. Get up early before the day gets hot, or wait until the sun has set to take your dog out for a potty break.
Know the symptoms of heat strokes for dogs.
If your dog seems to be suffering symptoms of a heat stroke, it’s vital they receive medical attention immediately, but to be able to give them that, you need to know your stuff. If your dog is panting more than usual, dehydrated, drooling excessively, has an increased body temperature above 103 degrees, has reddened gums and is producing little to no urine, they may be suffering a heat stroke. For even more symptoms, click here.
Groom them as needed.
Even if you don’t bring your dog to the groomers often (because we’re college students and we’re on a tight budget), a good brushing every now and then will help your dog tremendously, especially if they have heavy coats. If your dog is swimming to escape the heat, make sure you are drying its ears and checking for infection (your dog is more prone to infection if its ears can fold over). You should also be checking their bodies for fleas and ticks they might have picked up while rolling around in the grass—ticks are especially dangerous, as they can release diseases into your best friend’s bloodstream. Be diligent!
If you keep them outside, make sure they have a shaded area to relax in.
I have my own reservations about keeping my dog outside (mainly because coyotes have this gross tendency of eating my neighbors’ dogs in the middle of the night), but if you do keep your dog in the backyard, make sure they have a shaded area to relax in! It also wouldn’t hurt to make sure their water bowl is far from the sun so that they aren’t sipping on boiled water when they’re thirsty.
As a dog person, I think I can speak on behalf of all dog owners when I say our dogs are the most precious people—I mean, animals in our lives (no joke, I love my dog more than a lot of people in my life). So treat them as so, and make sure they enjoy this summer just as much as you do!
Do you have any more tips for other dog owners to keep in mind this summer? Let us know using the hashtag #CampusCropChat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and remember to snap us some cute pics of your furry loved ones on Snapchat @asicpp!