Imagine getting dressed to go outside in the summer heat by putting on a fur coat, fuzzy boots and a hat.
Unless you own a hairless terrier or a xoloitzcuintli (yes, there really is a breed of dog with that name!), that’s what your pup “wears” when you take him outside for some fun in the sun.
Pooches can suffer from the same warm-weather ailments that we can – only you may not know until it’s too late.
So it’s important to practice sun safety with your dog to keep him happy and healthy the whole season long.
Beware of heat stroke
Heat stroke, for example, is the same dangerous rise in body temperature for a dog as it is for a person. Only Buddy isn’t going to stop in the middle of your walk and tell you he doesn’t feel well.
Symptoms of heatstroke can include…
- and collapse.
And wearing a muzzle can up the risk as dogs cool themselves by panting.
Keep your eyes open for any signs of your pooch being overwhelmed by the heat. If you think your dog may have suffered heatstroke it’s a medical emergency. You should rush him to the emergency vet immediately!
Lookout for sunburn
Sunburn is something else we share with our four-legged friends. White, light and dogs with thin coats of fur – especially the hairless breeds – can get a nasty burn if they’re out too long in the sun.
Expert Cesar Millan advises applying waterproof sunscreen, one made for babies or pets specifically, to the tips of you pup’s ears, his nose, and the skin around his mouth and back.
3 more summertime tips to keep your best buddy safe
Other important summertime tips to remember include:
Foot pads can burn:
Check out the street, or any other hot surface (including sand) where you’ll be walking your dog with your hand for 30 seconds. If you are uncomfortable, it’s too hot for Fido, too.
Keep that water bowl full:
Dehydration can happen to dogs very easily in the summer months. Make sure that fresh, cool water is available both inside the house and in the yard, if you spend time there with your dog. And if you’re going for a long walk, hike or picnic bring a water container your dog can drink from.
Walk when it’s cooler out:
Take your walks in the morning and evening when it’s not as hot. It will be better for you, too!
Also, dogs with short snouts, like pugs, and older pets are more vulnerable to heat-related dangers.
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
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