Despite Pennsylvania is known for its arctic-esque conditions during the winter, this summer, it has been grabbing the headlines for the opposite reason. Just last weekend, the north-eastern state nearly hit temperatures of 100F, and the heat doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon.
This can be difficult for many people, but it is especially hard on our pets, who rely entirely on us to help them through the heat. When you consider that dogs are at risk of heatstroke in temperatures as low as 68F, it stands to reason that your dog is going to be struggling at the moment.
Any dog can overheat incredibly quickly, and it can be a matter of minutes before things start getting serious, so it is the job of every owner to take their canine friend’s health seriously and do everything they can to help them through the worst of it.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
We all know that, over the coming years, the weather is only going to get hotter and hotter. Pennsylvania alone has increased 1.8F over the last century, and it is set to rise to 5.9F by 2050. This is a serious increase in a relatively short amount of time, and you should be ready and prepared each time summer comes around.
There’s no telling how a particular dog will react to the heat, even if you put the essential steps in place to protect them, so visits to the vet should always be a distinct possibility in your mind.
Pet insurance in Pennsylvania is necessary for any dog owner who does not want to be caught between their wallet and their pet’s health. Make sure your dog is covered so that, if anything does go wrong, you have been proactive enough to ensure they get the treatment they need.
Alter Your Walking Times
We all have a bit of a routine when it comes to walking our dogs, but this routine may have to change during heat waves. Early morning or evening walks will ensure that your dog stays cool and comfortable during walks. Try to groom your dog before longer walks too, as excessive fur will only make them hotter, and it will be like exercising in the sun with a thick, winter coat!
You can use instead customized dog bandanas that your dog can wear on evening walks. It will absolutely look cool, and your dog will feel prepared to walk with you no matter how long. You can also personalize these bandanas from 4inbandana, an online store offering customized dog bandanas. The list of designs is long, so check out yourself and get one that looks amazing on your dog!
As well as this, if you live in the city, or if you tend to take your dog for walks along the street, walking at this time can avoid their paws from being damaged by the hot asphalt. Even if it doesn’t feel too hot outside, the asphalt beneath your feet can rise to around 125F.
This can do serious damage to your pet’s paws and can leave them in a lot of pain, so even if it feels cool enough to walk, always make sure to test the ground by placing the back of your palm onto it for a few seconds.
Keep The Water Flowing
This may seem like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many dog owners think they can just carry on with their regular routines during a heatwave. During the hot months, it isn’t enough to just give your dog a bowl of water in the morning and at night. Although we love them, dogs aren’t as savvy as us, and they don’t necessarily know if they are dehydrated.
In this way, it is your job to actively encourage your dog to hydrate itself. This can be done by playing around with the garden sprinkler system or even making pet-friendly ice lollies.
As well as this, it can also be a good idea to soak up some towels with cold water and lay them out for them to lie on. This will not only keep them cool and soothe their hot paws, but the water will also soak to their fur and skin and help them to rehydrate.
Learn How To Spot Heatstroke
As mentioned previously, even if you are trying your best to prevent your dog from feeling the heat, it is still possible for them to suffer from heatstroke. In this way, you should be keeping a constant eye on them and learn to spot the signs. Symptoms can include weakness, drowsiness, excessive panting, drooling, red gums, vomiting and diarrhoea.
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s crucial that you take them to the vet to be checked over.
Of course, if you are doing everything in your power to help them through the heatwave, the chances are they’ll be fine. But you can never be too careful. Keep vigilant, watch out for any changes in behaviour, and take the necessary actions if you think anything’s wrong.