It’s probably not escaped you that there’s a huge heatwave going on right now in Canada and parts of the US, and while many parts of the US are used to hot temperatures, it’s worth remembering that these temperatures are unprecedented for most people.
Health Effects of Heat
There are lots of things that are affected by the heat, but looking after your pets is a critical consideration to keep them safe during a heatwave, and preparing for the heat is something that Mesa veterinary clinics and other clinics in hot areas of the country are very passionate about.
If you have a dog, or if you’re planning on having one in the future, these tips should help you keep them safe in the heat.
Look Out For Heatstroke
Some breeds of dogs more susceptible than others to heatstroke. Brachycephalic dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, boxers, and chihuahuas are particularly sensitive to the heat due to their flat-faced appearance.
Dogs that are elderly or overweight will also be at risk – if your dog has a health problem or is carrying a few extra pounds, they need to be carefully monitored in hot weather.
If your dog is used to regular exercise, you need to know how this affects them in the heat.
In general, during periods of extreme heat, it’s a good idea to keep exercise sessions short and sweet – 10 minutes twice a day is plenty for most adult dogs.
Even if they love their morning or evening walk – cut it short if it’s warm outside. If you notice that your dog starts panting heavily, then take them home immediately so they can cool down in the shade.
Walk During Cooler Times
Some dogs don’t mind the heat, but if you’re concerned that your dog might become sweaty and sluggish, walk them in the cooler morning or evening.
Dogs that are working or exercising outside during the heat are more likely to become overheated, so it’s important not to overdo things in hot weather.
Always Have Water Available
It’s important that your dog drinks lots of water – even on dry days, it’s better to have a little too much than too little.
Ensure that your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times – this means you should check their bowl regularly to make sure that it’s clean and there isn’t a build-up of old water in their dish.
If you’re out with them, try not to let them drink from puddles as this can cause the spread of infection and bacteria.
Don’t Walk On Hot Sidewalks
Hot asphalt or pavement can be extremely dangerous for dogs, and while it’s tempting to walk them on the sidewalk during a heatwave, you’re better off taking them for a stroll in the park.
If you have to walk them on a sidewalk, then look for a shady side of the street to walk on so that your dog has somewhere to go if they get too hot or avoid walking at very hot times of the day.