By Samuetta Hill Drew
The “Dog Days of Summer” are really turning up the heat on our dogs and other pet animals. This expression refers to the time period between July 3 and August 11 each year. They are usually the hottest and most unbearable days of the season. This year’s season has seen record heat temperatures! Therefore, this week’s safety article will continue our discussion about how to keep our dogs, cats, and other family pets safe during this sizzling heat.
To help prevent your pets from overheating, below are some additional precautionary safety tips recommended by experts from the Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA):
NEVER SHAVE YOUR DOG:
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog. The layers of dogs’ coats protects them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. Be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
DO NOT LET YOUR DOG LINGER ON HOT ASPHALT:
The temperatures are too high. Being close to the ground, your dog’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Walk your dog in the grass if possible.
LIMIT EXERCISE ON HOT DAYS:
Keep walks during these times to a minimum. Adjust intensity and duration of the exercise/walk in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise/walking to early morning or evening hours and especially be careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing. Always carry water with you to keep your dog from dehydrating.
PROVIDE AMPLE SHADE AND WATER:
Any time your pet is outside, make sure they have protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water if possible. Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they do not obstruct air flow. A doghouse does not provide relief from the heat, in fact, it makes it worse!
COOL YOUR PET INSIDE AND OUT:
Make a batch of quick and easy DIY pupsicles for dogs. Always provide water, whether your pets are inside or out with you.
Keep your pet from overheating indoors or out with a cooling body wrap, vest, or mat. Soak these products in cool water, and they’ll stay cool (but usually dry) for up to three days. If your dog does not find baths stressful, see if they would enjoy a cooling soak.
These recommendations are meant to help you Keep an Eye on Safety for your pets.