Summer is in full swing in New York, and we are in the middle of an intense heat wave. Despite our inclination to stay cool indoors, our doggos still need to get outside to stretch and sniff. This post is dedicated to pointing out a few of the most important things to stay safe during these hot and humid days.
Ditch the coat
The impact of proper grooming in the summer is frequently overlooked. We humans ditch our winter jackets and thermals, but dogs don’t have that luxury. If your pup has hair that needs to be cut regularly, take them to a professional groomer. Dogs with fur need to be brushed frequently, especially if you start to notice heavier than normal shedding.
Protect the pads
Once you hit the streets, ensure that the roads are not too hot. If you cannot keep your bare hand on a surface for 30 seconds, then it is too hot for your pup’s pads. Avoid dark asphalt altogether, and search for grass and dirt paths. Wherever possible, seek out shade. There are even specially made booties that offer excellent protection.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Get plenty of water before going out, while out, and after you’ve been out. On hot days, you should not go more than 10-15 minutes without stopping for a water break.
Watch for signs
Our canine companions relentlessly aim to please us, and may sometimes hide the fact that they are overheating. You have to remain vigilant and observe for any signs of heat exhaustion or stroke. If they seem weak, disoriented, and dizzy, or are having difficulty breathing – stop right away, get indoors to cool off and drink some water. More serious signals include vomiting and bloody diarrhea – which warrant an immediate visit to your veterinarian.
Much is said about outdoor safety measures during the summer. However, we also need to be careful about the indoor conditions our pets are subjected to. Always ensure your dog has access to a full bowl of water and instruct your walker to check that it is fresh before they leave. Keep air conditioning units running at a comfortable level, or a fan blowing and oscillating for air flow.
Be safe and enjoy the dog days of summer. For more health and safety information, please consult your veterinarian.