It's really hot these days, so it’s important to remember that dogs are vulnerable to injuries and illnesses related to hot weather including heat stroke, sunburn, and foot pad burns. The most dangerous condition is heat stroke, which can cause organ failure, seizures, brain damage, hemorrhages, blindness, convulsions and even death.
What can a pet-parent do to prevent heat stroke danger? Be smart and proactive!
1. When the temperature is high, don’t let your dog linger on hot surfaces like asphalt and cement. Being so close to the ground can heat their body quickly and is also an invitation to burns on sensitive paw pads. Keep walks to a minimum.
2. Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut can help prevent overheating, but never shave to the skin, the dog needs one-inch of protection to avoid getting sunburned.
3. Provide access to fresh water at all times. Make certain an outside dog has access to shade and plenty of cool water.
4. Restrict exercise when temperatures soar, and do not muzzle the dog because it inhibits their ability to pant.
5. Many dogs enjoy a swim, splashing in a wading pool, or a run through a sprinkler in warmer weather can help bring body temperatures down.
6. Never leave your pet in a parked car, not even if you park in the shade or plan to be gone for only a few minutes. The temperature inside of a car can reach oven-like temperatures in just minutes, often in excess of 140 degrees. That quick errand can turn into a disaster and could be fatal for your pet.