The Heat Is On!Dogs can get overheated very quickly on hot days like these. In the month of June, the Chicago area had 17 days where the temperature was over 90°F (32.2° F). A dog has a regular temperature of 99°F, (37.2°C). It doesn't take them long to become overheated in this weather. In fact, one day we had a 100 degree day which was hot enough to cook a chicken fillet in a reporter's car. (He had left it wrapped in tin foil and had his car parked in the sun for 5 hours. The inside temperature turned out to be 200° F).
One of the biggest mistakes dog owners can make is leaving their dog in the car for an extended period of time. The temperature inside the car is usually doubled compared to the temperature outside. If the windows are cracked open, the temperature may dip 3 °F, but that hardly makes a difference when the interior temperature is over 150°F (65.5°C). A dog can get severely affected when they are kept in the car.
Usually, I bring my dogs with me when I take out dogs in the early morning. However, the temperature has been so hot, I've left them at home. It's just not worth the risk because even though it may be cool in the morning, the temperature has been rising really quickly.
Here are some ways to keep your dog cool during this hot spell:
- Walk them early and walk them late. I will take my dogs out around 6am or later than 9pm. Usually, even if it's hot, it's bearable enough for a decent walk.
- Monitor the time they're left outside. Homer loves to be outside in the yard. However, even when he's in the shade, he's still in risk of overheating. If he's outside, I keep an eye on time time to make sure he's out there no longer than 30 minutes.
- Use a kiddie pool. Some dogs love to splash around. If your dog loves to play in the water, a kiddie pool filled with water and their favorite rubber squeak toys is a great way to keep them cool.
- Take them to the beach. Many municipalities have dog beaches where dogs can run and play. It's a great way for them to cool off and get socialized.
- Keep an emergency cooling pack available. Wet down a paper towel with cold water and wipe their paw pads, armpits and around their face. Dogs can't sweat the way we can. Another good thing is to keep a chilled water bottle when they can lie down by it. Throwing ice cubes in the water is a another good way to keep cool.
With a little extra planning, you can still enjoy summer with your dog and keep cool at the same time.
How do you keep your dog cool in the summer?
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