Summer Pet Safety Tips – Keep Your Pets Safe and Avoid Getting Burned by the Summer Heat

 In Dog Care

How to Keep Your Dog Cool During SummerWith each season comes a different experience for our pets. Among them, hazards and pitfalls are expected. Summer is not different, especially because of the heat which may lead to heat stroke, dehydration, comas, burns, and sunburns.

These are expected when dogs are left unattended without water, or shelter. The good news is that we can help you prevent these conditions caused by summer heat.

Most symptoms of summer heat vary greatly on how the dog is normally affected by heat. However, there are symptoms that are hard to miss, i.e. bright red gums and tongue, tacky gums, excessive heavy panting, lethargy, loss of skin elasticity, lack of coordination, reluctance to walk, excessiveness in licking their feet, swollen skin, loss of the thick pads that protect the paws and cracking or curling of the skin in severe cases.

These symptoms differ greatly depending on the types of heat the dog is going through; let’s take a look at the various types of damage that heat can cause on your furry buddy.

Contact burns

It is inevitable for a dog owner to take their dog for a walk. However, it is important to note that pavements, sand, rocks and metal feeding bowls tend to become hot under the sun.

Our canine friends can get burns on their paws from walking on hot surfaces or on their face when feeding on hot bowls. In order to prevent this from happening, we can walk our pets during the cool times of the day, in the morning, in the evening or at night. It is also important to remember not to leave out metal feeding bowls in the sun for too long.

Symptoms that show that your dog has contact burns are:

  • Reluctance to walk
  • Excessiveness in licking their feet
  • Loss of the thick pads that protect the paws
  • Cracking or curling of the skin

Dehydration

This can happen even when temperatures are not elevated. However, heat increases the chances of dehydration, and it could be fatal at times. You can prevent this by ensuring that your pet drinks enough water at all times.

Symptoms that show that your dog is dehydrated are:

  • Excessive panting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Lethargy

Sunburn

This is especially common for dogs that have light or sparse fur, or light skin. Remember that canine skin is also vulnerable to UV rays, just like our skin. Although thick skin can give your dog some protection, you can prevent sunburns from happening by using shampoo with SPF. This protects your friend when he or she is playing out in the sun.

Symptoms that show that your dog has sunburns are:

  • Cracking or curling of the skin
  • Pain when petting
  • Reluctance to go out in the sun

Heat stroke

This can be fatal in a very short time, seeing as it can cause brain damage or organ failure. It happens when a dog’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees and above. You can prevent this from happening by making sure that the dog’s shelter is conducive during summer.

We also want to further stress that you SHOULD NOT leave your dog in the car when its hot. If you see a dog that has been left inside the car unattended under the summer heat, please call the authorities or if push comes to shove, break the glass and rush the dog to the clinic asap.

Symptoms that show your dog is getting a heat stroke:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination

Treatment of summer heat dangers

Treating Heat Exhaustion in Dogs

Treatment varies with different conditions. For sunburns and contact burns, an oatmeal bath or application of Aloe Vera gel is soothing for the skin. Coconut oil is also good for moisturizing. However, one should wait for a day or two before using the oils. If the burns are severe, help from a vet would be recommended in order to avoid infection.

Heat exhaustion can be treated by reducing the dog’s body temperature as soon as possible by using cool water on the dog’s groin and belly area. Dogs manifesting dehydration should be given cool, fresh water.

If your dog is not showing any improvement or is vomiting, seek advice from a vet because dehydration can be fatal if left untreated.

Symptoms related to excessive heat are usually treated through the administration of intravenous fluids. These fluids reverse dehydration and help to adjust any imbalances in the blood chemistry.

Recovery

The next time you see your canine friend distressed in the summer heat, you know what to look out for and what to do if you notice the symptoms mentioned above. Prevention is better than cure.

If you cannot walk him or her during the cooler parts of the day, then get your dog some booties for walks in the afternoon sun, trim the fur if it is too thick for hot weather, use sunscreen formulated for dogs and remember to keep your best friend hydrated. Dogs, in most ways, are just like us, and we should treat them the same way we do when it is hot outside.

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