Many of us enjoy spending time outdoors as the weather warms—and we usually like bringing our dogs along.
But keep in mind that dogs are carrying around a coat or two of fur that they can’t remove and usually don’t have the benefit of baseball caps and sunglasses. And if they overheat to the point of heatstroke, it can be a life-threatening situation.
Of course, it’s very important not to ever leave your pet in a car on a warm or hot day, but beyond that there are several other preventative measures to take when you’re out and about with your dog:
Know Your Dog
Is your dog panting more than usual on his walk? Is he older or does he have health issues and is resisting the walk? Does he have a flatter muzzle that may make it harder to breathe? Be aware of your dog’s behavior and when the weather is warmer, if he seems at all uncomfortable, get him to a cool, shady place right away.
Make sure to frequently stop and give your dog water on warm days. Get a good water bottle for your dog and have it with you when you are out with him. Also, don’t walk too far from public water fountains in case you get low.
Avoid High Sun
A simple way to avoid heatstroke is to keep your dog out of the sun and heat. Walk in the early morning or evening hours as much as possible. At the very least, find shady areas during your walk. Or take your dog to a pet-friendly indoor mall or covered outdoor mall, or other pet-friendly, cool indoor areas like pet stores.
Wet Him Down
Another way to keep your dog cool is by keeping water on him. There are a variety of accessories on the market that can help accomplish this, including cooling harnesses, cooling collars and cooling vests. You can also splash some water on him or give him a quick romp in his pet pool before heading out.