“Geez, it’s hot” is a common phrase in July, as the temperatures peak. The heat is no joke to your dog, who cannot sweat like you can, and will easily die from heatstroke if you are not careful. Sadly, heatstroke is a common cause of accidental death in dogs. Dogs that are overweight, have underlying heart disease, have respiratory disease such as collapsing trachea or laryngeal disease are more susceptible. ‘Smushy-faced” breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs also have a much higher risk. Heatstroke can happen very quickly so be sure and be aware of your dog’s breathing and behavior when outside. On hot, humid days, keep your pet indoors, especially during the hottest time of the day. Take short walks during the early morning or late evening when it is cooler. Carry water with you and stop for a water break. If you notice panting, loss of energy, stumbling or weakness, stop walking and rest in the shade. If your dog’s breathing and attitude does not improve within 5 minutes, carry him home and take him to the emergency vet.
Even on balmy days, the pavement is hot! Asphalt will burn foot pads and even dogs that regularly exercise in the heat can suffer from foot burn, especially in hot states like Florida and Arizona. Use your dog’s snow boots in the summer as well as the winter and prevent serious burns to foot pads when you walk.
Last, never, ever leave your pet in a parked car. When it is 75 degrees outside, the temperature in your parked car in the sun will exceed 120 degrees in less than 20 minutes. This can quickly kill your dog in minutes. This is never okay. The American Veterinary Medical Association has wonderful resources to educate pet owners about the dangers of leaving your pet in a car: Pets in Vehicles. “My Dog is Cool” is another resource to help spread the word about this preventable summer danger. MyDogIsCool.com