Best Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool in the City Heat
Living in the city already requires a different lifestyle for your dog, but it is important to make sure that you keep your pet safe when the weather starts heating up. In metropolitan areas it can get really hot, really quick, so here’s a guide from Odie Pet Insurance to keeping your dog cool in the heat.
- Take your dog for a walk in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Ensure your pet has air conditioning of some sort and do not just rely on a fan.
- Don’t leave your dog outside, in a parked car.
- Leave your pet with plenty of shade and water.
- Beware of the signs of heatstroke.
- Have a plan if there is a power outage while you’re at work.
- Use booties or balm to protect their paws.
- Try an ice pack collar.
While summer is no doubt a highly awaited season, especially if you live in the cold, snow-prone regions of the country, the heat can get really unbearable for dogs and may even endanger their wellbeing, especially if they suffer a heat stroke. And although you may think your pet dog can handle it, here’s a golden rule to keep in mind: when it starts heating up, if it is too hot for you, it is most likely too hot for them. So it’s important that you keep your beloved pet safe during the warmer months. These tips will ensure that you can keep your dog cool and comfortable during summer or a heat wave.
Take your dog for a walk in the early morning or evening.
During the summer months, no one wants to be out in the heat and neither does your dog. Plan on taking your dog on shorter walks 2-3 times per day so you and your pet can stay cool. It’s a good idea to take your pooch for a walk around the block in the early mornings before work or later in the evening, when the temperatures start dropping and the sunlight is much less intense.
If you leave, keep the air conditioning on. A fan doesn’t cut it.
It is hard to take your beloved furry friend everywhere you go in the city so when you have to leave without your dog, make sure that there is some sort of air conditioning in your home/apartment to maintain the temperature within a comfortable range. Do not just rely on a fan for keeping your dog cool because it may not be enough. To further insulate the coolness quotient of your home, be sure to close the drapes.
Don’t leave your dog in the car.
Keeping your dog in the city heat, in a parked car, is never a good idea, especially not in the summer heat and not even for a short while. Even if you keep a window cracked, the car can get too hot and stuffy. In fact, any vehicle tends to heat up really quickly when the mercury rises. And truth be told, keeping your dog in a vehicle parked outside, in the hot sun, is merciless and even illegal in many jurisdictions. It’s best to leave them home if you cannot take them with you, wherever you’re going.
Make sure your dog has plenty of water and shade.
One of the best ways to keeping your dog cool in the heat is by ensuring he or she is well hydrated and comfortable in a breezy shade some place. It is important for your dog to be able to cool down if they get too hot and having plenty of water and some places he or she can rest in, in the shade is ideal. Try keeping two water bowls out and filling them with ice to keep the water cooler longer. Also, pull down the shades or close the curtains to keep the sun’s heat out.
Be aware of the first signs of heatstroke.
On a very hot day, humans are not the only ones that can have a heatstroke so learn to recognize the first symptoms. They can be life saving clues to whether or not your dog is overheating. Symptoms of heatstroke can include:
- Heavy panting
- Hyperventilation (excessive drooling)
- Bright red, grey, blue or purplish gums
- Dry nose
- Vomiting or diarrhea
If you notice any of these symptoms immediately move your dog to a cool shaded area, and pour cool (not cold) water on your dog. Give them small amounts of cool water to drink.
However, since prevention is always better than cure, it’d be best to follow the precautions listed here for keeping your dog cool in the heat.
Have a plan if there is a power outage.
It is unlikely but have a plan and be sure to leave enough water for your dog if there happens to be a power outage at your house/apartment when you are out. Be sure to leave your dog with plenty of water and cool areas if the power goes out and the air conditioning stops functioning due to there being no energy or for any other reason. Your house/apartment can heat up very quick so just make sure your dog has options to get out of the heat until power is restored. If you are unable to go home right away, call a friend or neighbor that can take them to their place until you return.
Protect your dog’s paws with booties or paw balm.
On very warm days asphalt can be 40-60 degrees hotter than the air outside and concrete/sidewalks can get up to 30-40 degrees warmer. That is insanely hot and is something we wouldn’t want to walk on barefoot and neither does your dog! Dogs can burn their paws just like we can burn our hands and feet. A great way to protect their paws from the scorching pavement is with a solid dog bootie with a thick sole. On the not so hot days, booties can be a little uncomfortable in which case paw balm is a good alternative. It will provide a nice layer of protection and heal any dryness or cracking.
Try an ice pack collar.
An ice pack collar can come in handy on those excruciatingly summer days and will ensure your dog can stay cool outside or indoors. Using an ice collar will make a walk or run in the heat that much more tolerable for your furry friend.
Big cities or metropolitan areas are known to be warmer than the surrounding suburban areas as a result of a phenomenon known as “the heat island effect.” It is a result of the way cities are designed, the building materials that are used, and the way the streets are arranged, creating a lack of canopy. But one of the biggest factors is the reduction of evaporation that is caused by the replacement of plants with concrete and buildings.
Therefore, cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are normally hotter than the surrounding suburban areas during the summers. So, if you live in a metropolitan area, keeping your dog cool in the heat and throughout the heat wave is important. And it’s especially easy to do so if you follow the simple but highly effective tips outlined above.
How often should you be taking your pet to the vet? Read more here.