While lots of dogs love the summer and all the outdoor fun it affords them, these warm months can also be dangerous for your pet. From drastically high temperatures to hot pavement, there are lots of potential risks that could take a toll on a dog’s health. As the owner, it’s up to you to keep your pup safe. The following guide offers a few essential pet care tips to keep in mind this season.

How to Protect Your Dog from Summer Heat

1. Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
Fresh water should be a part of your pet’s healthy diet all year long. However, it’s especially important during the summer months due to the risk of dehydration. At home, place ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl to make it cool and palatable. While out on walks, bring along a water bottle and collapsible bowl.

If you notice your pet is drooling or panting excessively or has bright red gums after taking a stroll on a hot day, he or she might be dehydrated. Consult with a veterinarian immediately to determine if they need treatment for heatstroke.

2. Never Leave Pets in Hot Cars
Many dogs love car rides, but if you can’t bring them into the destination while out running errands, the best place for them to be on hot days is at home in the air conditioning. On an 80-degree day, temperatures inside vehicles can become dangerously high, reaching around 100 within just ten minutes of turning off the car. This can lead to tragic and fatal consequences.

3. Keep Walks Short on Hot Days
While walks are essential for your pet’s mental and physical well-being, limit their time spent outdoors on extremely hot days. Schedule walks early in the morning or at night; avoid taking midday strolls since this is when the sun is hottest. Asphalt can reach temperatures of 143 degrees on an 87-degree day, which can burn a pup’s foot pads. Hold the back of your hand to the pavement for 7 seconds; if you can’t withstand the heat, it’s too toasty for your furry friend’s delicate paws.

Consider exercising your pet inside, where it’s cool. Playing a rousing game of fetch or tug of war is a great way to get their heart rate up, and it will also mentally stimulate your pup.

The kind and caring veterinarians at Wards Corner Animal Hospital can provide more great pet care tips for the summer months. Our clinic serves pet owners and their furry family members in and around Cincinnati, OH, offering the benefit of more than three decades of experience. Dr. Timothy Henehan genuinely cares about the wellness of his patients. Along with routine checkups and vaccinations, we also perform surgical procedures, including spaying and neutering. We are always available in the event your pet experiences an emergency and requires immediate care.  Call (513) 683-2883 to schedule an appointment.