As the weather in Arizona heats up, it’s time to make sure that those air conditioners are ready to go, that you’re stocked up on sunscreen, and that you keep hydrated while spending time outdoors. There are plenty of precautions that need to be considered for our dog friends, too.
- The temperature of concrete sidewalks and pavement can become extremely high to make walking on it very uncomfortable. A simple rule to follow: If it is too warm to the touch, it will be too warm for doggie to walk on! Overheated ground surfaces can cause burns and blisters on paw pads, which require medical attention. Try walking your pet on grass if available, or wait until a cooler time of the day, at night or early in the morning.
You may also find booties for your dog at pet stores, which can help protect paw pads against sun-warmed walking surfaces. Another thing to keep in mind is, pets with very short fur or recently groomed and close-clipped fur are susceptible to sunburns if outside for long periods.
- Keeping a source of clean, fresh water readily available is extremely important, especially for dogs that spend time outdoors. But, did you know that the container the water is in can make a difference? Stay away from metal bowls, as they heat rapidly and will heat the water in them, as well. Try plastic bowls instead, and make sure they are placed in a shady location to keep that water as cool as possible!
- Heat stroke is as much a concern for dogs as it is for people in hot weather. You can be on the lookout for symptoms such as excessive panting, bright red gums, excessive drooling, and weakness. In more severe cases, they may be lethargic and have labored breathing. If you think your dog is experiencing heat stroke, get them to a cooler environment and call your veterinarian immediately! You may offer chips of ice or small amounts of water to provide some relief.
- Does your furry friend enjoy going for a swim with you? If you have a pool, it is important to make sure that your dog cannot access it when you are not around, as they can accidentally fall in, with potentially disastrous consequences.
- If you travel to lakes and rivers to beat the heat, there are some vaccines that are important for your dog to receive to protect them from some water-borne illnesses, like fatal Leptospirosis.
If you have further questions about any weather-related concerns not listed here, give us a call! Taking these tips into consideration can help you and your pet enjoy the warmer months here together, safely and happily!