Alabama can certainly boast on its hot and humid weather. You can count on it! Dog days of summer refers to the hottest days of the year. Extreme heat is dangerous for us, as well as for your family pets.

With no break in site, we just have to cope and make the best of it.

Dog Days of SummerWhat if you had to wear a long furry coat? That’s how your dog feels in hot weather. Here are some things to remember in the warmer weather and how to keep your dog cool and calm this summer:

  • Heat stroke is a common problem for pets in the warmer weather. Dogs with short noses or snouts, like the boxer or bulldog, are especially prone to heat stroke, along with overweight pets, those with extremely thick fur coat or any pet with upper respiratory problems such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea. Some of the signs of heat stroke in your pet are:
    • Heavy panting and unable to calm down, even when lying down
    • Brick-red gum color
    • Fast pulse rate
    • Unable to get up
  • If you suspect your dog is undergoing a heat stroke, bring your pet to Whitworth Animal Clinic right away, as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction, damage and even death.
  • Limit exercise on hot days.
  • Walk your pet in the grass if possible, to avoid hot surfaces burning their paws.
  • If your pet is outside, make sure they have access to shade and plenty of cool water.
  • Never leave your pet in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees, even with the windows cracked open.
  • Water safety is important for your furry friends. Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—they aren’t all good swimmers.
  • If you invite friends over for a barbecue, keep an eye on Fido. Keep them away from a hot grill and know that some foods can be poisonous to them. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with artificial sweeteners. Urge friends not to feed your pets table food. Pets can be pretty convincing when smiling and wagging their tails!
  • Ensure your dog has access to plenty of shade and fresh water. If you’re out enjoying some fun in the sun, make sure your dog has access to plenty of shade. And don’t forget to refill his water frequently, as it can get hot quickly on a steamy summer day — especially if it’s in a metal bowl.How hot is too hot? Unfortunately, there’s no magic number to tell when it’s unsafe for a dog to be outdoors. It all depends on your specific pup. Age, health, breed, and even fur color all play a role. Check on your sidekick frequently and give them opportunities to go indoors and soak up some AC if they seem uncomfortable.

Summer has arrived. The air is thick, the sun is bright, and the temperatures are soaring. Unfortunately, the so-called “dog days of summer” bring plenty health-related risks to our furry friends. Please remember to be mindful of your furry friends so that you both can enjoy the summer season.

The Animal Humane Society has additional information about summer and pet safety.