Like most people dogs love summer, but not the summer heat. But it is often forgotten that dogs have a tougher time coping with heat than people do. Just think about how uncomfortable you would be if you could only shed heat through your tongue and the pads on your feet (in addition to be covered in fur). Below are some considerations for keeping your furry friends safe this summer:
The biggest danger to dogs in the summer is being stuck in a hot car. Most people don't realize how hot it can get in a parked car on a balmy day. However, on a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees -- and hit a scorching 160 degrees if parked in the sun (in 30 minutes or less)!
Even when the outside air temperature is in the 60s, temperatures inside some vehicles can reach the danger zone on bright, sunny days. Rolling down a window or parking in the shade doesn't guarantee protection either, since temperatures can still climb into the danger zone.
People also tend to forget about the substrate your pets walk on. Asphalt streets and walks can get very hot during the summer. Test the temperature with the back of your hand, holding it on the street or walkway for 5 seconds. If it hurts you, it'll hurt them. Burned paw-pads can be very painful and take a long time to heal.
Parasites are obviously a bigger issue in summer than in winter. It is recommended that you check for ticks every time your animal comes in from outside. If you let your dog drink from a creek, an irrigation ditch, or a river, keep in mind the potential risk of contracting giardia, intestinal parasites which cause severe diarrhea and require prescription medication to treat.
Finally, keep your pets close to home. The shelter is busiest in the summer when pets roam more freely in the warm weather, they find themselves in unfamiliar territory when traveling with family, are spooked by thunderstorms, or family guests leave doors open. Make sure your beloved has tags, a collar with current contact info, and a microchip.
My name is Nala and I am a beautiful, good natured two year young girl that loves the water. As a black lab mix I am particularly fond of staying cool. This time of year I would recommend all pet parents have a fun kiddy pool in their back yards for dogs like me to roll in. I love to romp around with my dog friends here at the shelter and then jump in the pool to cool off. I am picking up my basic training well but hope to continue with it after I am adopted. Speaking of which – did I mention I am looking for a new home?