Updated: Sep 24, 2020
1. Ensure Plenty of Fresh Water
Dogs need plenty of fresh water available to stay hydrated. In our house, we have an inside bowl and outside bowl so that the water is fresh for Athena. We typically keep a water jug readily available to fill her water bowls to ensure that she has enough water, especially during the heat. It is best to have cold water, which can be accomplished by adding ice cubes.
2. Play in the Water
Water isn't just for drinking! Athena loves playing in the water. Some of our favorite videos are from having Athena chase down the hose when watering the lawn. Find your inner kid to run around in the water and let your furry friend join. You will be effectively burning energy while also cooling you and your pet off. Another fun day trip is taking the dog to the lake or beach to enjoy the water!
3. Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day
Sometimes this isn't possible if the dog is an outside dog, but let them in during the heat. Athena loves to sunbathe in the morning when it hasn't reached maximum temp yet; however, she will find the cool shade to relax during the heatwave. During my days off, I try to keep Athena in the house as long as possible. If it is too hot for me to walk on the concrete barefoot, it is too hot for Athena's paws as well. Avoid this time to walk the dog. Early in the morning and in the evening are better times to avoid paw burns.
4. Do Not Leave in the Car
Dogs are not the exception to having a heat stroke. Car temperatures quickly rise, especially in the summer. In many states, it is illegal to leave your animal in the car, and some people will go as far as breaking a car window to save an animal in distress. To avoid a broken window and a heat stroked animal, leave the pets at home. If you see an animal in a locked car and it is not distressed, I would recommend contacting your local police department and animal control before taking any other actions. Suppose you have contacted authorities, and the dog becomes distressed. In that case, it is legal in California to break the car window as long as you have informed the police, according to an article in LA Times.
5. Frozen Treats
Remember the blog about homemade dog treat recipe? You can easily make your dog treats and place them in the freezer. This not only preserves the treat longer but also gives your dog a cool down delicacy. Another option is to freeze chicken broth or store-bought treats.
6. Provide a Cool Place
In our backyard, we have excellent shade provided by some of the trees. You will see a plethora of Athena's toys hidden in the dark over casted areas. The grass in these areas feels cooler. Have you ever noticed a dog that loved to layout on the tile? In my last home, it was predominately carpet. I would always find Athena enjoying the linoleum in the kitchen. To help with the heat, we made sure to uncover the kennel and provide a cooling pad. I have purchased cooling pads from amazon along with Petco. Each one has been sufficient to accommodate a cooler kennel for Athena. The one I bought from Petco has held up for a couple of months. While the product's durability is excellent, it was a little challenging to set up because it required you to add your water to the pad, whereas Amazon's cooling pad came ready to rock and roll.
7. Know the Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
If you know your furry friend has had more heat exposure or suspect dehydration, these are a couple of symptoms to look out for. Excessive panting and/or salivating, vomiting and diarrhea, disorientation such as stumbling, poor skin turgor (the skin on the back of their neck stays in place if pinched or returns slowly), fever, decreased urination, reddened gums, weakness/lethargy, and seizures. Remember to get your dog to a cool place as soon as possible and call the vet. In cases of emergencies, magnets on the fridge with numbers to your vet and/or emergency vet are useful.
Don't forget to Fur-low us for more,
The Pawsitive Writer