6 Expert Tips on Keeping Your Dog Safe During Heatwaves
Published Friday, July 22, 2022 by Madeline I
Our lovely fur babies love to bask in the sun just as much as we do, and they would do it for hours on end if left to their own devices. They aren't afraid of getting sunburned or becoming dehydrated, so it falls on us to make sure they are safe doing what they love during hot summer days.
From making sure they have plenty of water, to providing a shaded area to relax in, there are a few things you can do to ensure your dog is protected during heatwaves. Here are 6 expert tips on keeping your dog safe during heatwaves.
Table of Contents
1. Walk Your Dog During Cool Hours
One of the best ways to keep your dog safe during heatwaves is to create a routine for walks in the early hours of the morning and during later hours of the evening. Taking your dog out for walks during these hours will ensure they are out of dangerous heatwaves.
Afternoon hours during the summer are the worst time to be outdoors with your dog. The scorching heat is not only uncomfortable for your dog but also dangerous if the walk during those hours is long. It is best that you avoid walking your dog when the temperature starts to rise and keep their walking routine only in the early hours of the morning and at night when temperatures have dropped.
If you have no choice but to walk your dog during the afternoon, try to keep the walk short and in the shade as much as possible.
2. Keep Playtime in The Sun to a Minimum
If you want to spend a day at the beach with your furry best friend, make sure you have a tent or a large umbrella with you that can offer your dog protection from the sun and a shaded place to take a break.
Dogs love to run on the beach and fetch their favorite balls from the water, but too much of this game in a heatwave can become quite dangerous. Allow your dog to indulge in beach games for no more than 30 minutes at a time, with a 10-minute break every half hour. Keep them shaded while they are on their 10-minute break and provide them with shade, water, and a treat.
While at the beach, you should also ensure that your dog does not ingest too much sand or salty water. Too much ingested sand can cause your dog serious problems, making it difficult for them to eat or drink anything else. Salty water is just as dangerous as it can lead to faster dehydration.
3. Provide a Cooling Pad During Car Rides
Investing in a cooling pad for your dog is another great way to keep your dog safe during heatwaves. Cooling pads are specifically designed to help dogs regulate and cool their body temperature. You can take these with you anywhere you go, be it on the beach, on hikes, or on car rides. Your dog will appreciate having a sure place to cool down.
4. Make Sure to Groom Your Dog Regularly
Although it seems unimportant at first sight, grooming is actually an essential part of keeping your dog comfortable during heatwaves. For most dogs, shed hair remains stuck to their coats, making them even more uncomfortable during heatwaves. Giving them a shorter haircut and brushing them regularly will help them stay cooler during hot summer days.
It’s important to note that shaving your dog will not make things better for them, but actually worse. It's ok to give them a puppy cut or summer cut when the weather starts to become hot and avoid shaving them down to the skin. Your dog’s fur offers great insulation against heatwaves, and as experts say, their fur provides the best shade.
For dog breeds with short hair, like the Frenchie, Pug, and Boston Terrier, the sun can be even more dangerous as their fur is quite short and unable to offer much protection against the sun. These breeds also have short muzzles and don’t handle hot weather well because they can’t regulate their body temperature as fast as other dogs do. If you have one of these breeds, it’s best that you keep their daily walks only during cool hours.
You can check out our grooming guide for tips on how to groom your dog at home.
5. Keep Your Dog’s Paws Hydrated
Heat waves and hot pavement can spell disaster for your dog’s paws. Dog paw pads are just as exposed as their noses and should be protected. Walking on hot pavement can cause serious irritation and even burns to your fur baby’s paws. There are a few things you can do to ensure that your dog doesn’t encounter any problems while walking outdoors during heatwaves. You can invest in paw boots that are specially designed to offer your dog protection on the scorching pavement; invest in paw wax, or simply get your fur baby some tiny socks for their paws. There are also special moisturizers you can opt for that will help keep your dog’s paws hydrated during the summer.
Another way you can protect your dog’s paws is to stay on the grass while outdoors and avoid walking too much on hot pavement. Going for walks during cool hours will also help.
6. Invest in Portable Water Bottles and Bowls for Your Dog
Having water with you is essential in keeping your dog safe during heatwaves. Your dog can become dehydrated quite quickly during hot summer days, especially if hikes, runs, and games on the beach are included. This investment won’t cost you a fortune, as both water bottles and bowls for dogs are mostly inexpensive. It is vital that you are prepared with these two when out with your dog for more than half an hour. Your fur baby will need to stay hydrated when out in the sun, and this means that they should drink water at least hourly or more often if they partake in tiring activities.
Another great way to make sure your dog stays hydrated is to offer them ice cubes as an alternative to water. This treat will help them regulate their body temperature while also keeping them hydrated.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How to keep your dog cool in a heatwave? To keep your dog cool in a heatwave, offer an ice pack or wet towel to lay on, add ice cubes to the water dish, and provide access to a wading pool. Additionally, you can create a DIY air conditioner by placing a large bucket of ice or a frozen water bottle (covered with a damp towel) in front of a box fan or tower fan and hanging a towel in front of it for cooler air. Rubbing alcohol can also be dabbed behind their ears, stomach, or paws as it cools faster than water and draws out heat.
Should I walk my dog in a heatwave? It is generally safe to take your dog for a walk in temperatures of up to 68°F, but it is best to avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day altogether when temperatures get really high. Walking your dog at cooler times of the day, such as evenings and early mornings, can reduce the risk of heatstroke and burning their paws on pavement.
How to help dogs in a heatwave? To help dogs in a heatwave, move them to a shaded and cool area, keep them calm and still, put them on top of a cool wet towel or cooling mat, apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest, and provide fruits or veggies that are predominately water-rich but avoid any pits or seeds.
How to protect dogs in a heatwave? To protect dogs in a heatwave, provide ample shade and water, and offer them several ways to cool off such as making an icy treat or using a metal dog bowl with toys and treats. Introduce pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Avoid covering your pet with sunscreen or bug spray that's meant for humans.
How to keep indoor dogs safe during a heatwave? To keep indoor dogs safe during a heatwave, provide them with cool, shady places to lie down, and give them plenty of fresh water. Additionally, use cooling body wraps or vests that have been soaked in cool water for up to three days.