hot weather safety tips for pets

Only about 30 more days until summer!  If you like the heat, well, it’s coming quickly here in the Arizona Valley and other parts of the U.S. If you’re in the midwest and just getting over how it snowed in April, then you’re probably jumping for joy at the thought of warm days by the lake. While you may be ready, is your dog? 

Some dogs looooove the summer even more than humans do. Others, like huskies, very much prefer the colder weather. Regardless of their preferences, you need to make sure they’re ready to face the new season. So without further adieu, here are our top hot weather safety tips for your dog. 

Have Plenty Of Water on Hand

Hydration is key! Dog’s can’t sweat like you or me, so they rely on their ears, toes, and tongue to keep them cool. They’re going to be panting, shaking their head, stretching out their toes to help them stay cool – all of which can cause them to go through a lot of water. This means the more water they have access to, the better! 

They also may enjoy the feeling of cool water on their ears, paws, and face, so we recommend bringing a deep water dish along for rhythm to play in as well as drink. If you don’t think your water bottle will hold off the what, try a hydro! They keep water cold in hot cars for horus here in AZ, so they’ll likely keep your pup’s water nice and cool too! 

Provide Shade

We all know how great a nice patch of shade on a sunny day feels. Your dog feels the same way! So on long walks, beach days, or if you’re just chilling outside, bring a little shade for them to lounge in. 

Shade other than a dog house, please! Dog houses are great for a lot of things, but they turn into ovens on hot summer days. They may provide shade, but the trapped heat negates any and all relief. SO we recommend setting up an umbrella for your dog, or maybe making a little tent for them to lounge under with blankets or towels? 

Be Smart About Exercise 

This goes without saying, but exercise = excessive heat. While dogs need to be active, be careful how hard they are playing when out in the hot sun. A good rule of thumb is to do it first thing in the morning or late at night when there isn’t direct sunlight or high temperatures. 

Watch Their Paws

Remember when we mentioned that dogs use their paws to help regulate their body heat? Well, they can’t do that if they’re walking on hot pavement! Additionally, if the temperature is really nasty, then avoid walking on non-grass surfaces entirely as they can easily burn your dog’s feet. 

In Arizona, the heat off pavement is enough to melt cheap sandals (we’re not kidding), so imagine what that could do to your dog’s paws? Not good things. 

If you’re worried about this, you can try using dog boots or pads that stick to their paws, but many dogs won’t like this right away. Instead, we recommend staying inside or sticking to the grass. If your dog is small enough, pick them up when you have to cross a road or stretch of pavement. 

Don’t Leave Your Dog In A Parked Car 

Another obvious one, but too many people still do this. A hot day is a hot day, even if you have your windows open. It’s not enough! Your car is an oven in the sun and quickly heats up. In fact, it only takes two minutes in a hot car for the internal temperature to spike from 80° to 94.3°. If you parked in the shade, the heat gain is only slightly better – about 20 degrees gain in 10 minutes. 

If you doubt those numbers, take a look at this video of a vet sitting in a hot car and tracking the heat gain. 

So never leave your dog in the car on a hot day. Not only is it illegal in most states, it could result in severe dehydration, heat stroke, and death. 

If you do need to leave your dog in the car, leave your car on and have the air conditioning cranked up. Don’t be gone too long either – it’s generally not safe to leave an unattended animal in your car for long. 

When in Doubt, Play Inside! 

Your dog may love being outside, but they can have just as much fun inside too! PLay some fetch, play hide and seek, have them search around the room for toys and treats, or play a few good rounds of tug-of-war. Your dog’s tail will be wagging and you won’t have to worry about them getting dehydrated from the heat.