6 Tips to Protect Your Dog from Heatstroke
With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s important to think about protecting your dog from heatstroke. Dogs are very susceptible to heatstroke and may become dangerously overheated in a short amount of time. By learning the best ways to protect your pet, you can keep them safe all summer long.
Read through the article below to find some of our top recommendations for protecting your dog from the dangers of heatstroke in Boston, MA. Use this information to prepare for your pet’s summer before the temperatures heat up!
1. Provide Water and Shade
Although it may go without saying, water and shade are crucial for any dog who spends time outdoors during the summer. Your dog should never be left alone in the yard without access to both a cool, shady spot to rest and a fresh bowl of clean water.
Even dogs who stay indoors on hot days need to have these options. Your dog should be able to rest indoors away from the hottest parts of the home and should always have access to clean drinking water throughout the day. On dangerously hot days, the indoors can be risky as well as the outdoors.
2. Don’t Overdo Playtime
It can be tempting to encourage your dog to run, jump, play, and take long walks when it’s hotter outside, especially if you and your family are playing outdoors too. But most dogs have hair or fur that makes them overheat faster than a human might, so it’s important to play in moderation during summertime.
Encourage your dog to play outside in the midmorning or late evening. If your dog does want to play or run in the afternoon, keep playtime to a very short five-to-ten-minute session to reduce the risk of overheating and heatstroke.
3. Bring Your Dog Indoors Often
If your dog tends to spend a lot of time in the backyard on hot, sunny days, it’s a good idea to start bringing them indoors more often instead. This way, they won’t run the risk of being outside during the hottest hours of the day, and won’t push themselves to overexertion in the heat, either.
While it’s still important for your dog to get outside and exercise, when possible, try to keep this to morning and evening playtime during the summer. If it’s too hot for you to be outside comfortably, it’s too hot for your dog!
4. Cool Down with Cold Cloths
Cool, but not cold, washcloths on the paws and back of the neck can help your dog cool down if they are mildly overheated. While moderate to severe overheating requires a trip to the emergency vet, very mild symptoms can be managed most of the time with cool cloths.
You can also try this method even if your dog isn’t showing concerning symptoms. They may appreciate a chance to cool down a little bit!
5. Monitor the Weather
Always pay close attention to the weather and temperature forecast for a given day. Do not leave your dog alone outside when the weather is forecasting dangerously high temperatures and remember that your dog may overheat faster than a human in these conditions, too. Stay informed so you can prepare in advance to keep your dog inside.
If there are any heat advisories for your area on a specific day, try to keep your dog indoors other than quick bathroom breaks. These days are not safe for dogs or humans and should be avoided as much as possible, even in the mornings and evenings.
6. Never Leave Your Dog in a Vehicle
Finally, but most importantly, never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle on a hot day. Even a mild day can cause heatstroke and even death for dogs who are left in a vehicle for too long. At just 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, temperatures inside a closed vehicle can soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in just 20 minutes.
If you have your dog in the vehicle with you, avoid making stops at locations where you can’t bring them inside. And if you’re planning your errands for the day, leave your pet at home—he’ll be happier and safer, too.
Keeping Your Dog Safe from Heatstroke is Important
As you can see, there are several methods you can utilize to keep your pet safer during the hottest part of the year. Heatstroke is a serious concern for dogs in Boston, MA and must be treated as such, so it’s crucial to make sure you know how to prevent your pet from this major risk.
If you do notice any of the warning signs of heatstroke in your pet, go to the emergency vet right away. Warning signs of heatstroke may include excessive panting and drooling, elevated heart rate, and lethargy. As the condition worsens, so do the symptoms, so it’s important to get your pet prompt vet care in the case of heatstroke.