When you think of summer, you probably think of backyard barbecues and poolside popsicles. Your dog is probably thinking more along the lines of hot asphalt and heavy panting. Summer can, and should, be fun for the whole family, we just have to keep summer safety in mind. Here are a few tips below:
Avoid walking on hot surfaces
Schedule your dog's walks outside of peak heat (this is usually around noon-3PM in Virginia). Your Barking with the Bradley's dog care provider (DCP) will do his/her best to accommodate midday visits before this time. When it can't be avoided, your pup may get a shorter walk and more indoor playtime/TLC. Opt for the shady sidewalk and grassy patches as opposed to the asphalt which can hold a lot of heat. When the asphalt is unavoidable, still try to stick to shaded areas and check the surface by holding the back of your hand to it. If you can't bear getting to a count of 3 "Mississippi"s, then your pup's paws most likely won't be able to bear it either. Be sure to check for warm, ashy-white, red, or ulcerated paw pads when you return inside that could clue you into a case of paw pad burn.
Keep them hydrated
Similarly, as this is important for us, make sure there's always cool, fresh water available to your pup. Your Barking with the Bradley's DCP will make sure to refill your pup's water bowl as part of their scheduled visit. It's smart to bring a portable dog water bowl for lengthier adventures. Not sure if he's getting enough water? Check his gums. One common sign of dehydration is sticky gums.
Let them cool off
Make sure there is a cool spot like tile or a dog cooling pad to help her to cool off more quickly when returning indoors. If your pup needs a little more assistance, then you can apply a cool, wet towel to her back and offer (don't force) a couple ice cubes.
Leave them at home
I love bringing the pups along with us when we can, and King LOVES car rides, but if at any point, you're going to have to leave them unattended in the car, then please just leave them at home. It can be a matter of life or death for your pup.
Know the signs of heat stroke
Is he panting excessively? Drooling more than usual? Red gums? Vomiting? Diarrhea? Spaced out? Losing consciousness? Displaying uncoordinated movement? Collapsing? He is likely suffering from a heat stroke. Call your vet to let them know you're on your way. For maximum air flow during the car ride to the vet, roll the windows down and use the AC. You should also allow him to drink water and apply a wet, cool towel to his back until you're able to get medical attention. Your Barking with the Bradley's DCP is pet first aid and CPR certified, making him/her better prepared to recognize and take the necessary action for your pup's well-being.
With so many hot weather hazards, I'm sure I missed a few. Leave some others in the comments below, I'd love to share them with our community.
Well wishes & puppy kisses,
*Disclaimer: We are not veterinary professionals. These general tips are from our dog care experience. Any specific medical advice for your dog should come from your vet.