While the ‘dog days of summer‘ refer to the summer stretch late in July, when the canine constellation Sirius appears in the night sky – most of us think of the ‘dog days of summer’ as the hottest, most unbearable days of the year. The hottest summer months are uncomfortable and even dangerous for everyone, including your pet. During triple-digit weather, it is important to provide your pet with plenty of fresh cool water and make sure they can get out of the sun during peak temps.
There are many dangers of leaving your pet outside in triple-digit summer weather like sunburn, burned paw pads on hot asphalt, heat stroke and even death. It is important to remember that high temperatures along with high humidity can seriously affect your pet because when a dog pants, they are evaporating moisture from their lungs as a way to take heat away from their bodies. Scorching triple-digit heat with humidity is stifling and may prevent a dog from being able to cool themselves down. Your dog’s body temperature can rise to dangerous levels very quickly and can lead to tragic results.
An affordable, customized pet door from Pet Door Products is ideal to let your four-legged friend outside to do their business and still have access to fresh water and cooler temperatures inside during triple-digit heat. The revolutionary design is safe and secure and will fit any sliding glass door.
Summer Safety for Your Pets
While high outdoor temperatures can adversely affect any animal, there are certain age factors, different breeds and medical conditions that are more susceptible to heat stroke than others. Very young, overweight and very old pets are particularly vulnerable and breeds with short muzzles like Pugs, Shih Tzu’s and Boxers have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
Your pets respond differently to the heat and humidity than you do. While we have the ability to sweat through our pores to cool our bodies down, dogs sweat primarily through their paws. Because of this, a portable or osculating fan will not offer cooling relief, as it does for humans. Here are 5 ways to keep your pets safe during the ‘dog days of summer‘:
- Keep Your Pet Indoors – You would never wear a warm and fuzzy coat in 100+ degree weather, but your pet does. An ideal and safe solution for pet parents who work during the day is an easy-to-install pet door manufactured to be thermal efficient and durable. Pet Door Products offers an innovative, energy-efficient pet door to give your dog or cat easy access outdoors and help control the temperature of your home with minimal heat transfer.
- Limit Exercise – Take the temperature and humidity into consideration when you exercise with your pet and adjust the duration and intensity accordingly. On extremely hot, triple-digit weather days you can adjust your schedule to be outside during early morning hours or evening hours after sunset. Always take care to avoid asphalt to keep your pup’s paws safe and be sure to bring water with you to avoid doggy dehydration.
- Provide Plenty of Fresh Water – Your pets should always have access to plenty of fresh, cool water out of the direct heat of the sun. Outdoor water should be kept in the shade to remain cool, you can add ice to your pets water for an extra refreshing drink.
- NEVER Leave Your Pet in a Hot Car – Do not leave your pet in the car, for even for just a minute! Even mildly-warm days can lead to rapidly rising temperatures inside your car, for example, an 85° day can reach 102° within just ten minutes and up to 120° after thirty minutes. Pets left in a vehicle on a hot day can suffer heat stroke, irreversible organ damage and death in a very short time.
- Plan Ahead – When you’re planning an outing with your pet, be sure to be prepared and pack a water bowl and plenty of water for your pooch. Take the necessary measures to make sure you will not have to leave your pet in the car, for any amount of time. Don’t take the risk, if you are unsure about the freedom of your pets at your destination or on the way, it may be a better idea to leave them at home or with a pet sitter.
Sunburn Prevention for Your Pet
Protection from the sun is important for both pet owners and their pets. Dogs and other pets with dark fur are less vulnerable to direct sun exposure, but both light-furred and dark-furred pets can suffer sunburn from overexposure to the harsh rays of the sun. The idea that a long-haired animal’s fur should be cut to keep them cool in the summer months is a myth. The truth is an animal’s fur will help protect them from the harmful rays of the sun. However, it is important to keep Fido well groomed to avoid hot spots (irritated patches).
Do not apply sunblock to your pet, instead just make sure they have access to shade, especially during the late afternoon hours when the day’s temperature is at its peak. If your pet is suffering from a mild to moderate sunburn, the following DIY treatment will help:
- Cover the sunburned area with a moist, cool towel.
- Use Aloe-Vera on the affected areas, any other type of topical ointment may cause harm if ingested.
- Contact your veterinarian if your pet has a severe sunburn or is also suffering from the signs of heat stroke.
Avoid Hot Asphalt
It is important for pet parents to remember that temperatures at two to three feet above the ground can be up to 20° hotter than the temperature at six feet above the ground. Asphalt absorbs heat and can quickly burn the thick protective pads of your dog’s paws. A good rule of thumb is to never walk your dog on a surface that you could not walk barefoot.
Watch for the Signs of Heat Stroke
If you suspect your dog or cat may be suffering from heat stroke, look for the following signs, take their temperature (a dog’s temp should not get over 104°), immediately start cooling them down and take them directly to the veterinarian. Signs of heat stroke to watch for in your pet:
- Heavy Panting
- Excessive Salivation
- Extreme Thirst
- Glazed Eyes
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Difficulty Breathing
- Bright Red or Purple Gums &Tongue
Heat Stroke Treatment for Your Pet
Begin immediate treatment for your pet suffering heat stroke by first getting them out of the heat and into the shade. Apply a cold compress or ice packs to their neck, chest, and head. Allow cool water to run over their body (not cold water). Give him or her cool water, a little at a time, or an ice cube to lick. Take your pet for an emergency visit to the veterinarian.
Keep Your Pet Cool During ‘the Dog Days of Summer’ With an Affordable Pet Door
Our pets give us so much happiness, love, and endless devotion, they are always there to listen and give you their full attention. Give back to your four-legged companion this summer with the gift of freedom a vinyl pet door patio door insert will provide. Fluffy or Fido will have the have access to do their business outside and come back into cooler temperatures with access to food and water even if you’re away from home for long periods of time. Contact Pet Door Product for more information or give us a call at 801-973-8000 for your free sliding glass pet door estimate.