Do dogs get hot in the summer?
Summertime is such a fun season to be outside! It’s only natural to take our floofy companions on adventures with us. Like humans, dogs can overheat and suffer from heat exhaustion, stress, and stroke. This occurs when a dog has stayed outside or exerted themselves too much. Their body temperature rises to a dangerous level, and your pet can no longer regulate their internal thermostat. Since dogs don’t sweat but pant instead to cool down, they are more susceptible to the heat.
Keep an extra watchful eye on your pals during the spring and summer months. The danger depends on humidity levels and what type of dog you share your life with. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, states that “Some breeds of dogs are more tolerant to hot and cold temperatures than others.”
How do I know if my dog is too hot?
Generally, you should keep an eye on your doggos around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The good news is that you can easily help prevent heat injury. The symptoms are pretty simple to spot too. One of the most common is dehydration.
You can identify this by looking for the following:
- dry nose,
- excessive panting,
- tiredness, and
- sunken eyes.
Other commons signs of heat injury include:
- lack of urination,
- dizziness, and
Read more about symptoms at Noah’s Ark Vet.
What can I do with my dog in the hot weather?
We know this sounds a little scary. You can have great outdoor experiences with your canine companion by taking preventative measures. A little preparation goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to have adventures with your best buddy along for the ride!
Here are some fun things you can do in the hot weather with safety in mind:
- Have a picnic.
- Go hiking.
- Visit the beach.
- Take a camping trip.
- Host a backyard (vegan) BBQ.
- Go for a walk.
How do I keep my dog cool in the summer?
This next bit of advice applies to humans as well as dogs. You two should always HYDRATE!
For outdoor time at home, consider turning on a sprinkler or filling up a wading pool. You can dip your feet in there too and stay cool together!
Follow this advice from Pet Friendly: “Before filling the pool, check the temperature of the water coming out of the hose - sometimes the water can be hot if the hose has been sitting outside in the sun.”
You can also grab a towel and soak it in cool water and then lightly wrap it around your pup’s neck. This will help cool their body. You may want to pick up a snazzy cooling vest, which is great for going on walks or camping.
Cool (literally!) snacks never hurt either. Lots of dogs love ice cubes. (I know mine do.) If you’re looking for something tastier, these vegan recipes will keep a pup cool too!
Lots of trips begin with rides in the car. Leaving your dog in the car to run into the store for a few minutes isn't a good idea. Batter Sea tells us, “Leaving a dog alone in a hot car can be fatal – even parked in the shade with the windows open, dogs can become distressed and uncomfortable very quickly. Make sure you always have a plan so your dog isn't left alone in the car or any other enclosed spaces.”
The ASPCA also backs this advice.
Is it too hot to walk my dog today?
Daily exercise is important to keep your dog happy and healthy. Walks give our furry friends a chance to work out their bodies and noses. During the summer, however, you should consider a few things before walking your dog. Make sure to plan your walk for the ideal time of day. You don’t want to go for a stroll when the sun is directly overhead. Plan on morning or evening walks when it is cooler.
During walks in your neighborhood, you may run across blacktops. These soak up the sun like crazy and get very hot very fast. As a general rule of thumb, if you (the human) can’t hold your hand on the blacktop for 5 seconds, it is TOO HOT for your pup’s paws.
Plant-based paw balms like this pup wax can help protect paw pads from heat, dryness, and cracking in certain instances as well.
Enjoy the hot dog summer!
Remember, always keep fresh water with you, watch the temperature, and look out for the symptoms of any heat injuries. With this knowledge of summer safety, you can now explore trails, beaches, and backyards with your best bud! And don’t forget to tag @vdogfood on Instagram because we’d love to see your summer adventures!