Hot Dog! It’s summertime already. Just like us, our dogs catch those summertime feels of longer days, sleepy afternoons, and overall excitement. That’s why we’re looking forward to a summer full of excursions, staycations, and plenty of fun. But with the pleasantries of summer also comes the heat! Make sure you’re ready to help your dog beat the heat with the following summer safety tips, product recommendations, activities, and more.
But first, the ‘Do Nots’ of summer safety
Do NOT leave your dog in the car
Your dog should never be left in a car – not even for a quick trip inside a store! The temperature inside a car can rise to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Do NOT walk a dog on hot pavement
Dogs absorb heat through their paws. Therefore, walking on hot pavement/cement is very uncomfortable for them. It may be 86-degrees out, but the asphalt could be up to 135-degrees. Press the back of your hand on the ground for at least 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
Do NOT expose your dog to extended sun or heat
Just like humans, dogs can be easily exhausted after spending hours in the summer sun! Providing shade is most important between 10 AM and 4 PM, but remember that the sun’s angle changes during the day. Even in the shade, it can be too hot for a dog due to their fur. Your dog needs ample amounts of cool water while outside.
Do NOT leave a dog home without A/C
It is recommended that a dog is not left in a room over 81 degrees. Although this is a suggestion, there is no way for humans to actually determine at what temperature a dog begins to feel overheated. Also, contrary to belief, frozen water bottles and wet towels can’t replace the cooling power A/C and or fans! The safer option is to keep your house cool with your A/C on at all times.
Do NOT exercise your dog in the mid-day sun
Keep your dog cool by going for walks in the early mornings or late nights. Adjusting your walking schedule to this time will instantly decrease the chances of your pup overheating. Here are some additional tips you can use for walking your dog at night!
Summer safety tips for dogs
- Keep pets indoors. Preferably in an air-conditioned room during hot days, and always provide fresh, cool drinking water. You can even place a second frozen bowl of water down that will thaw into a tasty treat for later.
- Limit activity during the day. The long summer evenings make a great environment for a game of frisbee or a stroll around the block. Whenever possible, limit your dog’s outdoor activity between 10 AM – 5 PM, the hottest time of day. Also consider all the heat the asphalt absorbs in a day. That’s a lot of heat to release! Take advantage of the long summer evenings and exercise your dog at night.
- Stay hydrated. Provide your dog with plenty of water! Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats. Also, overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration.
- Provide a shaded spot. Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean your dog can’t enjoy the outdoors. However, you will want to ensure they have a cool space to go to while outside.
- Keep your dog’s water bowl cool with these tips!
- Know the signs of dog dehydration:
- Excessive panting
- Dark pink to red tongue lolling out of the mouth
- Dry, tacky mouth and thick saliva
- Frequent vomiting
- Pale gums
- Increased heart rate
Cool treats will also help your dog beat the heat. Check out our summer menu for inspiration!
Huntington Dog Beach, Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach and Leo Carrillo are all dog-friendly beaches in Los Angeles where your dog can cool off. The Pacific Ocean stays a refreshing 60 degrees even as the sun shines. Let your dog swim, splash, and play fetch in the water. Remember, though, once the water play is over, find some shade or pack up and head home. The beach with an unrelenting sun can be too hot for many dogs.
Check out our blog post for all the best Dog-Friendly Events in Los Angeles, updated every month.
Many of us might not have the luxury of a backyard pool, but don’t let that stop your dog from enjoying some time poolside. Pick up a kiddie or doggy inflatable pool from your local kids store or online. (Prices range $32 to $199 on Amazon).
Enroll your dog in Summer Camp with Fitdog! We offer small-group Sports, Adventure, and Training classes six days a week. Learn more here.
Summertime safety products
Cooling Jackets: With temperatures reaching over 90 degrees, this is one invention for dogs that some people might wish came in human size. Cooling jackets are soaked with water and reflect heat and sun. It’s like walking around with A/C! Try our favorite cooling jackets, Ruffwear’s Swamp Cooler and Hurtta’s Cooling Vest.
Paw Protection: Did you know that at 86°F, black pavement temperatures can exceed 135°F?! Make sure your pup’s paws are protected. Dog boots and paw wax can help to protect them from rough or hot surfaces. Just remember that dogs release heat through their mouths and their paws, so only keep their feet covered when needed. If your dog has skin, nose, or paw allergies, check out the Natural Dog Company.
Cool Mats & Beds
Specialized mats provide your pup with a place to cool down quickly. From mesh to self-cooling to water-filled ones, there are countless options to best fit your and your pooch’s needs.
Please practice these summer safety tips in the upcoming months for the health and safety of your pup! From all of us at Fitdog, have a great summer!