It’s Doggone Hot Out There!
It’s June, people! Which means the weather should be warm, skies should be clear, and the time for summertime adventures is now. Whether it’s camping, hiking, swimming, or boating pets can totally be a part of the fun with a little extra planning. For starters, be honest with yourself – if you don’t think you’ll be able to safely monitor your pet amid all the fun, it’s best to leave them home. But, if you know you’ve got the situation under control and that they’ll have a doggone blast then load ‘em up! And keep the following summer safety necessities in mind.
- Plenty of Shade and Water. Dogs need to get out of the sun too, so make sure the spot you’re going to has shaded areas for your pet to retreat to. And when packing water, be sure to include your pet – even if you’re going to a freshwater lake, you can’t guarantee they’ll drink the water so grab their bowl, too, just in case.
- Know Signs of Heatstroke. Lethargy, glazed eyes, excessive panting, lack of coordination, increased heartbeat and even vomiting. If your pet shows any of these signs, drape cool towels over their head, neck, and chest, try giving them small sips of water or to lick an ice cube, and get them out of the sun and into air conditioning as soon as possible. Swiping rubbing alcohol on their paw pads also helps with faster cooling.
- Limit Exercise. Monitor your pet to make sure they’re not exhausting themselves and be sure to prompt breaktimes; also avoid high-intensity activities in the midday heat.
- First Aid Kit. Be sure to have a stocked first aid kit on hand; not just for your pet but for people too.
- Get ‘em Some Gear. It’s a common misconception that animals are made to endure extreme elements, which simply isn’t true anymore. Their eyes, feet, and bodies need protection too; if they’re going to be on a boat all day, consider sunglasses and a life vest, if they’re going to walk on hot sand or pavement, consider booties (just be sure to get them used to wearing them before adventuring to minimize risk of injury.)
- Extra Credit: Cooling Products. There are products made specifically to help your pet beat the heat – if you know you and your dog will be frequently roasting in the sun you may want to consider some added reinforcement like a cooling mat or vest.