protecting dog

Protecting your dog in the summer heat

One thing is certain about living in Houston:  the summers are hot and humid!  And when I'm sweating through my work clothes just walking the short distance to the car, I have to stop and remind myself that this humidity *should* keep my skin looking nice and young.  Optimism, y'all!

Just as we are affected by the heat, the high temps can be harmful to your dog too, especially breeds with short noses like bulldogs, pugs, and boxers. 

black lab houston hot summer

Tips for keeping your dog safe in the dog days of summer:

  1. Avoid or limit vigorous exercise outdoors, and schedule walks for morning or evening when it's cooler.  (Or take my approach: this is a great time of year to cuddle inside with the A/C!) 
  2. Keep those water bowls full, and take water with you when you leave the house.
  3. Use dog booties if the pavement is too hot.
  4. Ensure your yard has shade and water.  Or better yet, a kiddie pool!
  5. Never, ever, ever leave your dog in a car unattended.
  6. Use tick-repellent, and inspect your dog for ticks after being outdoors, especially in wooded areas.
  7. A shorter haircut will keep your pet cooler, but don't shave it down to the skin.  The hair helps prevent sunburn.
  8. Use caution when swimming in pools, lakes, rivers, or oceans.  Even strong swimmers can fatigue.  Get your dog a doggie life jacket.

How can you tell if your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion?  Excessive panting, dark red gums, drooling, unstability, vomiting, or collapse are all signs you should seek treatment/guidance from your vet.  If you can't get to the vet right away, bring your dog inside and cool down with cool water (not ice cold, as that could cause shock).

Hope you all have a safe and cool summer!