Summer seems to be hitting Maine hard this year, between rain and ninety degree weather. Here are a few dog heat tips. While the heat can be relieving to some after Maine’s long, cold winter months, pets don’t enjoy it so much. That extra coat comes in handy during December, but by August our furry friends may become uncomfortable or even sick. Some animals can even die in the heat, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions to make sure your dog doesn’t overheat. Dog heat tips are good for other pets, too!

A time to be especially alert with pets is while traveling. A quick run into the store could turn into half an hour if you meet a friend or become distracted, and even with the windows down a car can easily become hot enough to make a dog sick, or worse. Dog heat tips: take them with you. If they can’t go inside, either plan your trip for another time or see if there is a secure, safe place to leave your dog outside.

dog heat tips include going for a swim!

Dog heat tips include going for a swim! Photo from ABC News.

More dog heat tips you can do while travelling: keep a large bottle or container of cool water in the car to keep your pet hydrated—even if that means pulling over to offer water now and then. And don’t let your dog stick their head out the window! Insects or road debris could be really bad for their eyes. Most dogs like the water, and enjoy cooling off in a lake or even a pool!

When it comes to walking and exercise, even the most enthusiastic of dogs may become lethargic in the heat. Dog heat tips (and for horses) should include exercising  in the morning and evening to avoid the highest temperatures. The sun shines strongest between 10am and 5pm, which means your dogs’s paws could burn on the asphalt while the sun burns your skin as well. Being inside where it’s air-conditioned or at least shady may be healthiest for you and certainly is for your pet. Cats may have an easier time finding a cool sheltered place to hide outdoors, but dogs will be best in a well-constructed dog house if not indoors. Make sure horses have access to plenty of clean water and shade.

Dog Heat Tips

Some seniors may have senior dogs, to which even more attention should be paid when it’s hot. Senior dogs have weakened blood circulation and are more affected by extreme weather. They may become slower than usual, so it’s important to watch that they drink enough water and stay cool. dog heat tips: when it’s hot and uncomfortable for you, slow down, stay inside, and keep Fido in as well.

Dogs of any age are susceptible to heat sickness, so it’s important to know the symptoms, including excessive panting, rapid heartbeat, unresponsiveness, vomiting, muscle twitching, warm, dry skin and high fever (a normal temperature for dogs is 100.5 to 102.5).

Hot Weather Tips – Petfinder.” Pet adoption: Want a dog or cat? Adopt a pet on Petfinder. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2013.

Senior Dog Central: Protect Your Dog (Seniors Especially) in the Warm Weather.” Senior Dog Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2013.