I know we’ve all been looking forward to sunshine, and warmer temperatures, and getting outdoors. As wonderful as this time of year is, it’s important to play it safe when it comes to fun in the sun for furry friends.

I love to take my dog everywhere…so it’s a hard pill to swallow when I decide to leave him home. I have to consciously remind myself that dogs have a higher body temp than we do, and less ability to cool down. 

Humans are covered with sweat glands, but a dog's are confined to their nose and the pads of their feet. So it’s important to remember…an overheating dog can only regulate their body temperature through panting, which isn’t very efficient in hot weather and in a very short period of time, an overheated dog can find itself in big trouble. 

Heatstroke is a very real danger in warmer months for dogs. If you start noticing heavy panting, rapid breathing, glazed eyes, excessive drooling, staggering, or stumbling, take notice, and take action quickly.  That is certainly not an exhaustive list but some of the more commons signs.

Here are a few rules I live by in the warmer months when it comes to my dogs….

  1. Never, ever leave your dog alone in a parked car on a warm day. Not even for a few minutes. I know it’s tempting but on a warm day, the temperature inside your vehicle can rise quickly into the danger zone. For example, on an 80-degree day it takes only 15 minutes for the temperature inside your parked car to climb to 102 degrees. In a half hour, it can hit 120 degrees. Leaving windows cracked doesn’t drop the temperature inside the vehicle. Leaving your car running with the air conditioner on is dangerous for a whole bunch of reasons.
  1. Exercise your dog during the coolest parts of the day. This means early in the morning or after sunset. Try to stay in the shade during daylight hours, and no matter the time of day, don't overdo it when it comes to exercise and play sessions.
  2. Provide plenty of fresh clean drinking water at all times. Dogs can become dehydrated very fast when it’s hot out. Fill up a few water bottles or grab a few from the fridge, I have a collapsible bowl with me all time should the need arise. 

That’s all I got!  Let’s be safe and have ‘a ball’ with our dogs this summer…sorry I couldn’t resist.

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