How to Help Your Pet Stay Cool on the Hot Summer Days

By: Dr. Ben Davidson

As we finally start to get into some warmer weather, we need to start remembering to be careful about the heat and our pets.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are potentially fatal problems that can be avoided with a few simple steps and cares.  Keep in mind that our furry friends are exactly that…. furry.  Their hair coats make them several degrees hotter than we are, so even if it seems pleasant or acceptable to us, it can feel much hotter to them.
First and foremost, do not leave them in a parked car.  Even with the windows open, even in the shade, the internal temperature of a car can reach 130 degrees and is a major risk for heat stroke and death.  When out playing, walking, hunting, or anything else, make sure that the distance, pace, or time is not excessive.  Dogs cool themselves by panting, they don’t sweat like we do.  If they are dehydrated, they can’t do that effectively, so make sure you bring plenty of water for them, too.
Breeds with smooshed in faces, like bulldogs, can overheat on just a simple walk, so make sure to exercise only in the cooler morning or late evening hours.  When at home, make sure your dogs can either get inside to cooler temperatures or at least that they have a well-ventilated shady spot, and again make sure they have plenty of water at all times.  Your four-legged friends are just as happy as you are about the weather getting warmer and about spending some good quality time outdoors, but from all of them and all of us here at BBVH, please be careful and cautious about our summer heat.  Have a great summer!