1. Never leave Rover in a parked car. Not even with the windows open.
On a mild summer day (22˚C), the interior of your car can reach almost 40˚C in just 10 minutes. Dogs can suffer brain damage, organ failure and death at body temperatures of 40˚C or higher. Be a responsible citizen; if you see a dog in a parked car, call 911.
2. Exercise Rover early or late in the day.
Dogs aren’t able to cool down as efficiently as us two-footers, especially if it’s humid out. Limit mid-day exercise on warm days and know that some dogs are especially prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke: bracyphalic breeds (flat faced dogs like Pugs), large breeds, dogs with thick coats, seniors, overweight dogs, pregnant dogs and active young dogs who sometimes just don’t know when to quit.
. If you’ve ever hopped across a blistering hot beach to avoid burning your tender tootsies you already know its not just the air that gets hot. Hot asphalt can burn Rover’s paw pads and, assuming that he is closer to the ground than you are, he will be absorbing more of the heat coming off the pavement. Stick to walking in the shade and on grass where possible; just avoid areas that may have been treated with pesticides or fertilizer.
3. Smart Hydration
Make sure Rover always has access to fresh water. Avoid exercise if you think he isn’t drinking enough and consider pre-walk drinks to help prevent dehydration. As a bonus it might also help keep him out of festering puddles to satisfy his thirst! While hydration is important, you need to be careful o avoid hyper-hydration, also known as water intoxication. This potentially fatal condition requires immediate veterinary treatment. You can read more about symptoms, treatment and prevention at Mercola Healthy Pets: Water intoxication: too much of a good thing?
4. Be prepared.
Discuss an appropriate flea/tick/heartworm prevention program with your vet. If you’re lucky enough to be cottaging or camping with Rover, supervise him around water and invest in a canine life jacket for safety when boating. You might laugh but I’ve seen more than 1 heroic rescue mission to save a dog who sank like an anvil. Always know where the closest emergency vet care is.
5. Get Wet!
Whether it’s chasing waves on the beach, jumping off a dock or just splashing about in a kiddie pool in the backyard, water is a great way for Rover to stay cool while having fun! Just ask Gus…