It's been so hot these past few days that when Hermes asks to go outside he sits in a sunny spot, and then within 3 minutes is back inside. I bet he went out only to come back in nine or ten times today. I don't blame him one bit. He's a warm weather dog and loves the sunshine, but the humidity is a killer. Please take care when the temps get high. Here are some interesting facts about pets and heat.
Dogs bodies are comfortable at a lower temperature than humans. This means that the hot days that we have been having feel even hotter to them. Since dogs still need exercise to stay physically and emotionally healthy, it is best if they go on walks early in the morning or later in the evening when it's cooler outside. If you have a path that is not paved, such as a dirt road or a grassy area, this is the best place for these walks as dog's bodies use the pads of their paws to regulate their body temperature. When they walk on hot pavement, their body heats up, too. Plus, the hot pavement can burn their paws.
Breeds with shorter noses, like Pugs and Boxers have a harder time breathing in the heat so you might want to keep an eye on them while exercising in the summer months. The concern is heat stroke with symptoms like excessive panting, disorientation, higher body temperature, blood in the stool, and seizures. If you suspect heat stroke, pour cold water over their body and call your vet. Which reminds me, kiddie pools can provide a cool relief for your pet, just make sure the water is shallow and not heated too much by the sun.
Some dog owners shave their dogs in the summer because they feel they will be too hot. This can be tempting, but be careful because some breeds, like Siberian Huskies actually have fur that keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Other dogs, like Pomeranians, really enjoy the coolness of a short do in the summer. If you think your pet looks too warm with their long hair, just do a little research before you get out the clippers.
Shaved or hairless dogs and cats can sunburn just like people. If you know that your pet will be exposed to the sun for an extended amount of time, some vets recommend that you use a kid or pet sunscreen on their ears, nose and face. This being said, I'm betting you can find a nice cool place indoors for them to play with squeak toys or laser lights. :O)
The other night, it cooled off a bit so I took Hermes for a short game of frisbee. He loved it even though we had to quit early. I don't think he minded. . . he was hot but he was happy.
Some of the information for this post was obtained from an article written by Rebecca Kelley for Pet Care RX.