Happy Lab.

Summertime can be hot just about anywhere, but in Arizona, it can be downright dangerous.  The news will often stress the importance of keeping cool and keeping hydrated during such intense heat, but it is important that we not only keep ourselves cool and hydrated, but our dogs as well.  Humans can help rid their body of heat by sweating but dogs do not sweat the way humans do and so, when temperatures get particularly hot, it can be more difficult for dogs to keep themselves cool.  Even if you feel relatively comfortable or hydrated, your dog may not be feeling the same and may even be dehydrated.  It is important to know the signs – if your dog seems weak, is panting heavily, is lethargic, has sunken eyes, or has loss of skin elasticity, your dog may be dehydrated.  In spite of the extreme heat, there are some very simple and very basic ways to keep your dog cool, comfortable and happy during the hot summer months.

  1. Early Morning/Late Evening Walks
    • Exercise is important for dogs but it is best to avoid exercise in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest and the heat is at its highest. You dog should not have to forego exercise during the summer, but it is best to try to choose the coolest parts of the day.
  2. Keep The Water Bowl Full
    • Your dog will likely need more water during the hot summer months so it is important to check it a few times each day and make sure it is full. Do something nice for your dog and make it cool water or throw some ice cubes in to give your dog a refreshing treat.
  3. Bring Water With You
    • If you are going to take your dog out for some time, or even on a long walk, it never hurts to bring some water with you, just in case. Bring a water bottle and a bowl so that if you notice your dog panting or looking a little worn out, you can give him some refreshment.
  4. Dog Booties
    • Yes, there are small booties that are made specifically for dogs. Some dog owners might roll their eyes at this notion but the sidewalk can get very hot and potentially burn your dog’s paws.  If you have to take your dog out on the sidewalk when it is hot, consider putting booties on your dog to protect their delicate paws.
  5. Sleep Cool
    • Traditional dog beds may be quite comfy but they can also be quite hot. There are special elevated beds available that are designed to allow your dog to sleep comfortably while remaining cool.  Elevated beds are made from mesh and the extra ventilation will help make those summer months a bit more bearable.
  6. *Never* Leave Your Dog In a Car
    • Closed cars heat up in a matter of minutes to temperatures that are incredibly unsafe. Not only can they overheat your dog, they can actually kill your dog in a matter of minutes.  Never, under any circumstances, leave your dog in a car.