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hot dog

A dog beating the heat

Wow! What a summer this has been so far in the North West. We had record breaking heat in Washington State and Oregon with Oregon getting hotter than it’s ever been in Miami or LA. And it’s only the beginning of July! With that in mind, it’s important for us to consider our precious fuzzy family members and the way they respond to the heat. Unlike us, they don’t have the option to take off their coats and cool off, so it’s up to us to help them beat the heat. Here are 7 ways to help them stay cool in the summer.

1- Keep them hydrated constantly with cold, fresh water!
Just like us, being in the heat will make our pets thirsty, tired, and hot. It’s extremely important for us to constantly be giving them fresh water and a shaded area to rest in. Doing this avoids the risk of heatstroke and of course will make their time in the sun much more fun! Sprinklers for exemple is the perfect summer toy for your dog!

2- Don’t overwork your pets.
Both your pets and you enjoy your routine walks around the neighborhood or trips to the dog park. However, it’s important to consider, while the weather is hot, to keep the trips slightly shorter or slow the pace of their exercise. Keeping them hydrated and watching for signs of overheating is your number one priority.

3- Protect more vulnerable pets from the sun.
The lighter the skin or fur, the more vulnerable it is to the sun. Just like us, our pets need to be wary of the sun’s rays. Protective clothing and special pet sunscreen directly from your veterinarian are great options to help avoid sunburns and skin cancer. Do not use human sunscreen on your pets.

4- Know the signs of heatstroke
Knowledge is power, and in this case being aware of the signs of heatstroke is the best way to protect your pet in case they have one. Symptoms include: high fever, rapid heartbeat, exaggerated panting, vomiting, and dry skin. If your pet shows any of these signs, immediately contact an emergency animal hospital or veterinarian.

5- Never keep your pet in the car in warm weather
This has sadly become all too common and needs to be preached constantly. The heat from being left inside a car in hot weather can result in devastating consequences. Please be aware of the life you are taking care of and don’t leave them in such poor conditions.

6- Protect the paws!
Summer makes everything hotter, including all surfaces and floors. This makes it more dangerous for our pets with their exposed paws. Try touching the ground before letting them walk on it. If it feels too hot for you, it is probably too hot for them. Watering down your driveways and any other surfaces our pets might walk on can also keep them from burning their paws. And if you know you’re going somewhere where you can’t cool down surfaces for your pet, there’s always your pet’s favorite attire, booties! Take advantage of booties for heat protection when out on walks.

7- Keep your pets groomed
Just as we swap out our winter coats for summer ones, we should help our pets do the same. In the warmer months, consider getting your pet groomed to help them stay cool while its warm out.

Good luck with the above list! Remember, we love talking about pet care and am here if you ever need some more advice. Until Next Time, Happy Summer! Stacy and Donna – Bubbles and Bows Pet Grooming, Tacoma