Summer is a great time to spend with dogs. Long walks are much easier in summer than they are in winter. Going to dog parks and playing on the beach are just a couple ways you can have fun and give your dog some much needed activity when the weather is warmer.
The most important thing to keep in mind regarding your pet this summer is to ensure that he or she is not overheating. Remember that dogs do not perspire like humans do—instead, they cool off through their paws and by panting. Too much sun can cause a dog to easily overheat or even face serious problems such as sunstroke. Keep your pet cool this summer with these tips from your vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ:
- Keep a watchful eye: One of the most important things you can do to prevent having your pet overheat is to simply keep a watchful eye. It can be tempting to let your dog out in the yard or in a park and to simply forget about them for a while. However, your yard might be nicely shaded with a cool breeze at one point, but an hour later, it may be much warmer without any shade. Keep your eye on your dog at all times to look for any signs of overheating. If you are concerned your dog is overheated, call a vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
- Know the signs: Understand the signs of whether your dog is overheating. Excessive panting and labored breathing are the most common symptoms that a dog is getting too hot. Oftentimes, a dog might look slightly panicked when looking for water or a shaded area to try and cool down. You may notice the dog seems dehydrated, as well, since panting uses up saliva. If your dog seems too hot, bring them into a cool place with plenty of water to drink.
- Shade and water: The two most important things for a dog on a hot day are shady areas and plenty of water. Direct sun will heat up a dog’s fur and raise their body temperature. Panting uses up hydration very quickly. Make sure there are cool shady areas for your dog to lie in and lots of fresh, cold water to drink.
- Avoid midday: Especially during the hottest part of summer, you may want to reconsider too much activity during the middle of the day. Take walks and play in the morning and at night in order to avoid the hot sun. Leave the middle of the day for naps and lying around on the cool floor. If going outdoors is unavoidable during the day, once again, make sure there is plenty of shade to rest and relax in.
- Other considerations: Be aware of a few other tips from your vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. Under no circumstances should you keep your dog in a hot car during the day. The inside of your car will get very hot in the sun and can easily overheat a dog in little to no time at all. Also understand that if your dog has a flat face, breathing and panting does not decrease their temperature as effectively as it does with other dogs. If you own this type of dog, take special care to keep them cool.
Visit Newkirk Family Veterinarians today to learn more about how to protect your dog from the effects of too much heat. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer with your dog!