While you're inside, avoiding the intense heat of our Virginia summers, don't forget that Fido is also looking for an escape. It's important to keep in mind a few easy tips that will prevent your furry friend from becoming dehydrated or suffering from heat stroke.
1. Make sure your dog has plenty of shade to relax in during the day. If you don't have large trees or a covered patio in the yard, consider ways to keep your pet inside as much as possible when it's hot. Keep in mind that there might be days when even the shade is too hot to be comfortable. Also, remove bedding from your dog's crate. Your dog will be much more comfortable laying on the cool crate bottom rather than a pile of blankets.
2. Refill your dog's bowl with plenty of fresh, cool water throughout the day. Don't make your pooch drink warm, stale water. Also consider giving him an ice cube treat to help him beat the heat!
3. NEVER leave your dog in the car when it's hot. Not even for five minutes. Doing so is putting him at risk for heat stroke, which is a serious medical emergency.
4. Exercise early in the morning or late in the evening. When you take your dog for a walk, remember that he's doing it in a fur coat and the heat may be too much for him to handle. Also, the cement and asphalt may burn his paws, so stick to the grass.
5. Watch for signs of dehydration or heat stroke. Dogs can't sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, eyes will become bloodshot and it may even start foaming. Don't wait for symptoms to progress. Get your dog into a cool location and provide small drinks of cold water.
If you keep these tips in mind, you and your furry friend will enjoy a fun and healthy summer together!