Summertime Heat: Protecting Your Pet

Your dog needs exercise all year round in addition to quick trips outside so that they can do their business. Walking your pet in extremely hot temperatures requires care and planning in order to keep them safe. Also, simply having your dog outside requires caution in the hot months. When the temperature soars, follow a few commonsense steps.


In the blazing heat, you need to consider the comfort of your pet in the same way you think about your own. Exercise your dog in the early morning hours or evening hours once the temperature cools off. Remember that asphalt or concrete can burn your pet's paws. If you wouldn't walk on a surface barefooted, do not expect your pet to do so with unprotected paws. Walk them on the grass or invest in some paw protective coverings.

Experts urge you to be especially careful with short-nosed breeds who are known for having breathing difficulties and white-eared pets who are more susceptible to skin cancer. Also, remember that dogs are negatively affected by humidity as well. They may be unable to "pant" away enough excess moisture when the humidity soars. If you can't take the heat, chances are that your dog will struggle as well.

Cool Down

If your dog seems overheated, you can cool them down with either a hose or a cool, wet rag. You may think that spraying your dog from the top down is the most effective method, but it is not. Dogs actually cool down from the bottom, so spray their legs and their stomach first. That's why a kid's swimming pool placed in the shade is an excellent idea for your dog.

Although your first instinct may be to stop your dog from digging, allowing them to create a shallow hole actually helps keep them cool. If possible, find a spot under a tree or some shrubbery where the hole will not be that noticeable and let your dog go crazy. The cool earth is their friend in the summer heat.

The end of summer often brings some of the hottest "dog" days. You need to take precautions so that neither you nor your dog gets overheated. Walk when the temperatures are best for you both. When you hose down your dog, you can also rinse off. Although you may not be sold on lying in the dirt, let your dog settle in. Staying cool is vital to your dog's health as well as your own. 

For more information, contact local professionals like 1st Pet Veterinary Centers.