Cool down with your dog with this summer

Cool down with your dog with this summer

Julaine Hunter, DVM
LazyPaw Animal Hospitals
Warmer summer months are a great time to chill with your four legged friend outside. But when warm weather turns hot, you should take extra precautions to keep your pup cool. 
Dogs pant instead of sweat, but when weather is hot and humid, sometimes panting isn’t enough. It’s important to know when your pup is too hot and take measures to keep them as cool as possible when the temperature cranks up.
If your dog drools excessively, has bloodshot eyes, or appears pale, they may be experiencing heat stroke. Another way to check is to lift your dog’s skin—if it takes longer than usual to go back into place, they are probably dehydrated and need water immediately. If you think your pet has suffered from heat stroke, call us at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals in Frisco. Our pet clinic offers a full spectrum of veterinary services and can help you care for your pet during the heat wave. If it’s after hours, you can also use our convenient online scheduling system to make an appointment for the next day. 
Water is critical to staying cool.

Your dog needs easy access to plenty of fresh water at all times. Cool water is best and should be kept in a shady spot if possible. Change water frequently. Some watering systems hook up to an outdoor faucet and are motion sensitive, so every time Fido wants a drink he can get a fresh, cool sip. Another great way to keep your dog hydrated is with homemade frozen treats. There are zillions of recipes online, but our favorite is made in a flash from one ingredient—chicken broth frozen in ice cube trays. 
Use common sense.

Never, ever leave your dog in a parked car, even with the windows down. Temperatures inside cars can skyrocket to 120 degrees in minutes, which is why leaving your pet in a car is illegal in many states. In fact, to protect service canines, many police departments are investing in special internal temperature sensors to keep K-9 units cool when an officer must leave them in the car. Since your car doesn’t come with this special sensor, though, never leave your pet in a vehicle alone.
Enjoy the outdoors in mornings and evenings.

When the temperature is too high, walk your pet in the early mornings and late evenings. If it’s in the evening, test the pavement with your hand before you go. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pup’s paws. If your dog loves being outside but it’s just too warm, consider investing in a cooling bed or gel pet mat. The Gainesville Sun recently came up with a list of top products to keep your pet cool, with everything from outdoor loungers to cooling vests. You can also take them for a supervised swim, always a great way to beat the heat.
Wear sunscreen.

If your dog has a thin or short coat, consider applying sunscreen. Noses and ears are especially prone to sunburn. Pet friendly sunscreens are available at many pet specialty stores, or you can visit us at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals for recommendations. 
High temperatures don’t necessarily mean you can’t have fun in the sun with your favorite furry friend. Taking simple precautions can help Fido stay comfortable and cool.
Founded in 2005 by husband and wife team Dr. Brent Bilhartz and Dr. Julaine Hunter, LazyPaw Animal Hospital in Frisco, Texas is a different kind of animal hospital. We are veterinarians without distraction, and ours is a culture of genuine care. 
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