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Caring for your dog in the summer heat

While some dogs up north are still playing in the snow and wearing snow boots and jackets, here in St. Petersburg, FL it’s getting hot, sunny and humid! 

Tips to help your dog beat the heat

Never leave your dog unattended in direct sunlight or in a closed car.

Leaving your dog in a car can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion and in some cases death. The temperature inside a car increases rapidly and the air supply is limited. Even when you think you will only be a few minutes you never know what might prolong your absence from the car, like a long line at the grocery store.

Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh and cool water

It’s usually best to have two bowls full of water, just in case one gets empty, knocked over, heats up in the sun or becomes dirty. Don’t be afraid to overdo it with the water if you are leaving your dog alone for any amount of time.

Ensure that there is some shade in the yard for your dog to rest and get out of the sun

A tree, or if need be an umbrella, can provide adequate shade, but access to a well ventilated structure such as a shed or porch is ideal. During really hot days it’s always best to keep your dog inside the house if possible, rather than leaving them outside.

Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day

Try walking your pooch first thing in the morning, or in the evening, and try to walk somewhere you know there are lots of trees and shaded areas. Avoid certain kinds of pavement, asphalt and sand as those surfaces can get extremely hot and burn your dog’s paws.

When going out with your dog make sure you have a bottle of cool water with you at all times

Dogs don’t sweat like us and they pant to release heat, so having a nice cool drink is one of the best ways to reduce their body temperature.

Dogs can get sunburnt just like us

White and light colored dogs with pink skin are especially susceptible to sunburn. Apply pet sunscreen on the ears and nose 30 minutes before going out in the sun. If your dog stays outside every day, apply sunscreen daily.

Going to the beach

It’s great fun going to the beach with your dog, just make sure there is plenty of fresh water and shade available. Also ensure your dog does not drink seawater as they can dehydrate quickly.

Swimming

Swimming is great exercise for you and your dog, but it uses muscles not often used. Make sure your dog doesn’t tire especially if they have a long coat.

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