As Floridians we are all familiar with the saying, “it’s so hot outside you could fry an egg.” Our summer days can reach temperatures well over 90 degrees making daily outdoor exercise miserable for us and our four-legged companions. Some owners believe dogs can tolerate the heat. The truth is if you’re hot, they are hot too. Our Tampa Bay veterinarian would like to share a few tips on keeping your canine cool and protected during these dog days of summer.
- Outside Temperatures: All outdoor activities should be planned during the cooler parts of the day for example dusk and dawn.
- Avoid Pavement: When possible stay on grassy or dirt trails. These will always be much cooler then hard paved surfaces.
- Surface Test: If paved areas are the only option, then test all surfaces before venturing out. If you can comfortably hold your hand, palm down on the surface for 10 seconds the pavement is safe to walk on.
- Water, water, water: Bring plenty of water not only for you but your pet too. Take water breaks along the way. If you’re drinking so should your pet. Do not allow your pet to drink from stagnant puddles, lakes, or rivers. These sources could cause unwanted stomach upset resulting in vomiting or diarrhea.
- Call it Quits: If your pet starts to experience signs of exhaustion it’s time to stop. If your pet exhibits signs of heat stroke such as: a bright red tongue, thick and sticky saliva, dizziness, vomiting, rapid panting, or becomes unresponsive contact your veterinarian for immediate treatment.
- Indoor Play: There are plenty of indoor alternatives to ensure your pet gets their daily exercise. For example, a scavenger hunt for pieces of kibble around the house. Just be sure the treats are a part of their daily diet allowance. Laser pointers are not just for cats. Dogs also enjoy this fun device. Set up a small obstacle course with things to jump up and down from, weave in and out of, and go through.
In the end we all want what is best for our pets when it comes to their health. Although exercise is extremely important so is ensuring their overall well-being. Along with the tips above and the helpful reminder, if you’re hot they’re hot, you are set to protect your pet during the scorching summer months. If you have questions regarding your pet’s exercise routine, the summer heat, or any other health related issue please contact our hospital today at 813-501-4985. One of our team members is ready to serve you.