How Hot Is Too Hot For My Dog To Be Outside?
As we prepare our BBQs with charcoal and wiener dogs, set out our blankets and coolers on the beach, or begin trampling through the underbrush of our local trails and parks - let's not forget one of the most important things - our dogs!
Whether your dog is mostly and inside guy/gal or prefers running wild outside, we have some great tips for how to prepare for a Spring & Summer season with your beloved pet.
Let's begin with a few facts regarding temperatures. One rule of thumb, if the weather is too extreme for a human, it's more than likely too extreme for your pet to withstand too. For example, hot temperatures, blended with humidity, can cause dehydration and heatstroke in both humans and pets.
Humidity plays a major factor in whether it's okay to leave your pet outside for extended periods of time. If you live in a climate with very low humidity, it may be alright for your dog to hang out outside in 80+ degree weather, as long as there is shade and water available. Always be sure your pet has access to a cool area and water nearby for when they're ready.
On days you expect to be extremely hot, be sure to get your walk in with your dog either early in the morning or in the evening when it's begun to cool down. If you decide to take your pet out during the mid-afternoon, first check the sidewalk with your palm to make sure it isn't too hot and won't effect your pet's sensitive pads on their paws.
How long you leave your pet outdoors during hot days can always depend on their breed. For example, dogs with shorter snouts, such as pugs, breathe in warm air more quickly than those breeds with longer noses which can lead to them to become hotter, faster. Dogs with heavy coats, such as Siberian Huskies are likely to overheat more quickly than breeds with shorter coats, as their heavy coat is designed to insulate and trap in heat for them.
There are a few signs that can indicate when your pet is overheating or reacting poorly to the heat. You should watch for symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke. These include: slow breathing, lethargy, shaking, and muscle stiffness. If you see these signs and are concerned, act immediately. Gently spray your pet with water in certain places like their armpits, ears, and then cover them with a cold soaked towel, make sure to move them indoors and encourage them to drink more water. If your pet doesn't feel quite up for drinking water, try running cool water over their tongue instead. If you don't begin to see improvement, contact your vet.
Of course we always caution against leaving your pet in a car, even for a short period of time. Even in the shade, cars internal temperatures can rise at an alarming rate and affect your dog.
Did you dogs with sensitive skin are also susceptible to sunburn? If your pet has fine white fur or a light coat, you may consider putting waterproof sunscreen designed for babies on important places like their ears, noses, on their back or tummy. Pet's can get skin cancer, just like us! So it can be a best practice to keep your pets out of sunlight from 10 AM to 4 PM during sunny days.
There can be fun ways to keep your pet cool during your outside activities. Invest in a kitty pool to fill up with water in your yard area for your pet to splash around in. This also helps your dog acclimate to water in general, so if you plan on going to the beach or on a boat with them, this will help make them feel more comfortable. Bring along chilled treats like home-made doggy Popsicles.
Watch out for your pet drinking ocean or pool water or water at dog parks as this can be contaminated or treated with chemicals. Always be prepared with your own bottled water and dog dish. We also recommend bringing along a Water Filter for your dog, for those instances where they're sharing water with our dogs. One of our favorites is the GoPure Pet Water Purifier. This awesome gadget is portable, easy to use, and ensures continuously purified, great tasting water for your pet, anywhere you go.
So remember, be prepared whenever you leave the house with your pet and pay attention to your pet's behavior for the entirety of your adventure together. We have to look after each other after all, right? If you have any more tips or suggestions for pet care during the Spring & Summer - shoot us an email! We love to hear from our fellow pet parents!