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Summer Heat Safety Tips

Fine and Dandy dogs swimming in a cool river.

The official first day of Summer is June 20, but those temperatures are already rising! Dogs can become overheated, just like us humans. Below, you’ll find general summer heat safety tips. 

Do you know how to tell if your dog is too hot? We’ll go over that, too, in the next blog! Keep an eye out.

General Summer Heat Safety Tips

A good rule of thumb is to give your dog what you’d like to have when you’re hot. And, no, I don’t mean a cold beer! Or, maybe you imagine a cabana boy waving a palm frond to cool you off? You’re getting closer, my friend. Only in this scenario, you are the cabana boy!  :-)

Naw, y’all don’t have to follow your pup around fanning air in her direction, but do ensure your pup has plenty of shade to hang out in while enjoying the outdoors, and consider placing a fan on the porch to create a constant breeze. 

Always have fresh, cool water available to drink. Plenty of clean, fresh water is essential to stay hydrated and cool. We recently posted a blog about water and water bowls; check it out here.

A fine and dandy Aussiedoodle standing in a shallow pool.

Fill a large shallow container with water—one of those cheap plastic kid’s pools will do, or purchase a doggie pool—and let your dog play or relax in it. Don’t leave old, hot, dirty water in it, though. Empty the pool, rinse it out, and let it dry between uses. 

If you have a pool, teach them to swim! Read our Fine and Dandy blog about teaching a dog to swim here.

Don’t let your dog walk on super hot surfaces. Time your walks to the cooler parts of the day, like mornings and evenings. If you must take them out during the hottest part of the day, keep them on grass, carry them across the hot asphalt, or train them to use doggie shoes.

Avoid strenuous play or long walks on hot days. Dogs don’t sweat like we do because they have few sweat glands. They pant instead, and according to the American Kennel Club, they take 40 to 400 breaths per minute. When they inhale cooler, drier air into the lungs, they exhale hot, moist air over the wet tongue to get rid of body heat. But, if they don’t have enough cool water to keep their tongue and airways moist, or if the outside air is too humid, less cooling occurs because the heat can’t evaporate. 

Never leave your dog in a parked vehicle during the summer. Always have the engine running and the AC on while in the car. Many newer vehicles have remote starts, so someone can turn the car or truck on from outside the vehicle. Use it! Even if you think a quick run into the store will only take five minutes, leave the AC on. 

Here is a conservative scenario of how fast a car can get hot: If the outside temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the car will reach 104 degrees in ten minutes. At 95 degrees for 10 minutes, the car will be 114 degrees! A study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that “the temperature inside a car can increase by 40 degrees Fahrenheit on average over the course of 60 minutes, irrespective of the ambient temperature. The researchers also found that 80% of the observed increase in temperature occurred during the first thirty minutes.” A hot car can be lethal to dogs and humans alike. Read a bit more about the study here:

Be sure to read our next blog on the signs of an overheated dog. We want our Fine and Dandy families and all the dogs out there to have fun, safe summers, and we hope that these summer heat safety tips help!

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