The sun is shining, the days are long and summer is in full swing in Virginia!
This week we are experiencing temperatures in the 90’s and a heat wave warning has been issued for our area. It’s important to remember that we aren’t the only ones in danger of heat stroke; our furry family members also need to stay cool and protected from this summer heat.
Let’s take a look at 10 ways to keep your pet safe all summer long!
- When letting your dog outside make sure they have access to cold water and shade. Limit time outside to 5-10 minutes on days that are extremely hot. Pay close attention to the body language of your pup to be sure they are not overheating.
- If you are staying outside with your dog for longer periods of time, lightly spray them down with the hose to cool them off. Most pups love playing with water, so this is a fun activity too!
- We all love to play with our pups but on hot days it’s important to limit exercise and playtime. If you do want to exercise with your pup, the coolest hours of the day are just after sunrise.
- Long walks are great for your pup but not in the hot weather. Not only can your dog overheat quickly, they can easily burn their paw pads. Walk your dog on the grass if possible and on extremely hot days, skip the walk for something less dangerous. A great test to see if the pavement is hot enough to burn your pet, put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can’t keep it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pup’s feet.
- Humans love ice-cream on a hot summer day and so does your pup! Make your pet a dog-friendly frozen treat, like these Peanut Butter & Banana Pup-sicles!
- Never leave your dog inside the car alone on hot summer days. Even if the windows are open, the car can still heat up very quickly. The temperature within a car can climb from 75 degrees F to 110 degrees F within 15 minutes.
- Buy a kiddie pool! A cheap plastic kiddie pool could be a great way to keep your dog cool in summer months. Be sure to supervise playtime, but your pup will love jumping and splashing in the water as they cool down and relax.
- Be sure to have multiple water dishes available to your pup and change them out often with fresh, cool water.
- Check your dog for heat stroke. Watch for the following symptoms:
- Excessive drooling
- Increased body temperature – above 103° F (39° C)
- Reddened gums and moist tissues of the body.
- Production of only small amounts of urine or no urine.
- Rapid heart rate.
- Keep in touch with your vet! If you think your dog may have heat stroke, it is critical that you act quickly. Call Ashburn Veterinary Hospital at (703) 729-9200 if you believe your dog may be suffering from heat stroke.
Summertime is the perfect time to relax, unwind and enjoy some bonding time with your pet. If you keep these things in mind, we know you’ll have a beautiful, sunny and safe summer with your furry friends!