"The summer months can be uncomfortable - even dangerous - for pets and people. It's difficult enough to simply cope with rising temperatures, let alone thick humidity [...]," reports The Humane Society of the United States. The organization, one of the most esteemed groups specializing in animal protection, emphasizes six factors to keep in mind during the dog days of summer.
- Parked cars
Never, even for a short period, leave your pet in a parked car. This puts your pet in jeopardy of irreversible organ damage and even death. The Humane Society has a hot car flyer to help you save pets' lives.
"Animals pat to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels - very quickly," explains Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD.
Therefore, if it's too humid outside, make sure you keep your dog in the air conditioning. The Humane Society recommends taking a dog's temperature, which shouldn't be over 104 degrees.
Simply put, don't take your dog out for a walk or to the dog park when it's too hot. How do you know? Moon Valley Canine Training has a simple trick: Place the back of your hand on black pavement - if you can't hold it there for five seconds, then you know it's too hot to take your dog on a walk.
These don't work on dogs the same way they work on humans. Rely on the air conditioning, if possible, to cool your pet.
- Shade and water
It's important that your pet has someplace shady to retreat to if he or she gets too hot outside. Dog houses trap heat, so trees or tarps are better shade sources. Make sure water is available, as well, with ice if possible.
- Cooling - externally and internally
To cool your pet from the inside out, make sure ice water is available to them whenever possible. There are also treats that can help, such as these DIY peanut butter popsicles.
To cool your pet from the outside in, take advantage of cooling body wraps or a cold bath.
Carry dog spray on your walks.
No matter the temperature, dog spray is a must when you take your pet for a stroll. Dog spray will help protect you, your pet and even the attacking dog from lasting harm! It's humane, effective and designed specifically to keep all dogs involved in the conflict safe.