Who’s ready for fall and the cooler weather it brings along? It’s been quite an Arkansas summer but the heat isn’t gone just yet. Here in Little Rock the high temperatures and humidity can be a bit ruff and also dangerous to both human and dog. At Bark Bar, we want the best for your puppers because as we all know, happy and healthy dog = happy owner!
Here are some tips and in-fur-mation to beat the summer scorch and to keep your pet from turning into a hot dog:
- Protect the paws. It’s time for a W-A-L-K! Before you head out, put the back of your hand on the pavement for 5-10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for their paws! Let them walk on grass if possible or choose either the morning or evening times to walk where the temperatures will be lower. Make a fashion statement and protect their paws by giving them booties to keep the hot ground from burning them. Be sure to check their paws for any burns, blisters, or rough, dry, dark spots.
- Don’t take the heat. The best way to tell if your dog needs water and or/shade? Panting is your dog’s way of cooling their body down, so if you see your pet excessively panting, move them to a cooler area quickly. Always keep a supply of cool, clean water nearby for your pooch, a shaded area for them to rest while playing out in the sun, and keep them indoors during extreme temperatures.
- Water your dog properly. Got a pup that lives in the water? Even in the heat, it’s important to make sure that your dog stays safe and healthy in the water and out of it too. While watching for heat exhaustion, keep an eye out also for water intoxication, where ingesting too much water can trigger a decrease in sodium and flood the dog’s cells with excessive water, causing swelling in the body. To avoid water intoxication, have your pet take breaks to play on land every 15 minutes. Watch for bloating, vomiting, loss of coordination, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, excessive salivation, seizures, and coma. Contact your veterinarian immediately if these signs occur.
- Be aware of heat exhaustion. Train yourself to know the signs and act quickly. Keep an eye out for excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, increased drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Severe heat exhaustion can include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with a 104 degree body temperature. Immediately remove your dog from the heat to a cool room, give them cool water, and contact your veterinarian right away.
- Never leave your dog in a hot car. Arkansas heat can be deadly, and for dogs stuck inside a parked vehicle without AC, it can be downright miserable. According to the American Kennel Association, even on cool days with temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the car’s temperature can rise to 100 degrees in 20 minutes. On very hot days, vehicles can heat to 140 degrees in less than an hour. And no, cracking your windows open won’t protect your pet from heatstroke. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to leave your pet at home instead. Don’t risk it!
- Keep the coat on. That’s right, keep your doggy’s fur coat on during the summer. It’s all right to trim any long hairs but do not shave away your pet’s protection from the sun’s heat! Dogs’ fur layers protect them from overheating and sunburn so put away that razor. Make sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your dog is labeled specifically for animals.
Don't fur-get to keep yourself hydrated and safe in this heat also!