How Does Hot Weather Impact Dogs?
Have you ever noticed your dog’s habits change as the weather gets warmer? This is normal and not cause for concern, but understanding the impact heat can have on your pet can help you better understand how to keep them healthy when it’s hot out. Below we’ll explore the impact heat has on your pet and provide simple tips to help them stay cool, comfortable, and safe in the heat.
Affects of Hot Weather on Dogs
If you notice your dog napping more and playing less this summer, it’s likely not cause for concern. Many dogs tend to be less active in the heat and more active in cooler weather.
As temperatures rise, you may notice that your pup is less enthusiastic about mealtime. While a total loss of appetite can indicate a more serious problem, a slight decrease in hunger is normal when it’s hot outside. Mammals (including dogs) tend to reduce their caloric intake in the heat. During the winter, most animals move more to stay warm, increasing hunger. The opposite is true in the summer, potentially decreasing your dog’s appetite.
While most dogs are susceptible to heat, some breeds face more challenges than others. Dogs with shorter noses, like bulldogs and pugs, may struggle to breathe when it’s hot. Longhaired breeds like Alaskan malamutes and Afghan hounds may also face challenges staying cool during the summer because of their thick coats. While certain dogs are more susceptible to heat-related issues than others, it is crucial to remember that all dogs should be monitored closely in hot weather to ensure their safety. Keep in mind that puppies, senior dogs and dogs that may be overweight may be easily affected by heat.
Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe in The Heat
Never Leave a Dog in a Hot Car
Leaving a dog in a hot car, even for a few minutes, can have severe consequences. The temperature inside a parked car can skyrocket rapidly, even with the windows cracked open.
Dogs, unlike humans, have limited sweat glands and rely on panting to regulate their body temperature. When trapped in a hot car, they can quickly succumb to heatstroke, which can be fatal.
To keep your dog safe, never leave them unattended in a vehicle, even if you plan to be gone only for a short time. Instead, bring your furry friend indoors with you or leave them at home in a cool and well-ventilated environment.
Adjust Your Walks
Walking your dog in the middle of the day during the scorching summer heat can be harmful to their paws and overall well being. The pavement and asphalt can become extremely hot and could potentially burn your dog’s paw pads. A good rule of thumb is to place your hands on the ground prior to heading out for a walk. If it’s too warm for your hand, it’s likely too warm for your pup’s paws. Additionally, the high temperatures during midday can cause overheating and exhaustion for your furry friend.
To ensure their safety and comfort, it’s best to adjust your walks to cooler times of the day, such as early morning or evening when temperatures are lower. This way, you can protect your dog’s paws from hot surfaces and provide a more enjoyable walking experience for both of you.
Opt For Shade
If your dog will be outdoors, find them a shady location to relax rather than exposing them to the scorching sun. Trees, umbrellas and canopies can all help provide your pet a reprieve from the heat. If it’s super toasty out, consider providing your pet with a wet towel to lay on while they enjoy the shade.
Implement Enrichment Activities
During warmer months, your dog is likely to spend more time indoors than usual. Implementing enrichment activities can help prevent boredom and provide a fun outlet for their energy. Consider puzzle or treat-dispensing toys that require problem-solving skills to keep them engaged. If you don’t have problem-solving toys on hand, hide treats around the house to create a type of treasure hunt to help stimulate their natural hunting instincts.
The Nature’s Logic Biscuits with Benefits dog treats are easy to break apart, making them perfect for indoor games. If you’re limiting the amount of calories your dog gets from treats, consider hiding a couple pieces of our all natural dog kibble in a food dispensing toy at mealtime.
Keep Them Hydrated
Keeping your dog properly hydrated is crucial, especially during hot weather. Dogs can easily become dehydrated when exposed to high temperatures, leading to serious health issues. Provide access to fresh and clean water at all times, and encourage your dog to drink regularly. One way to boost hydration is by offering bone broth as a hydrating and tasty treat. Bone broth is not only rich in nutrients but also helps replenish electrolytes, making it a beneficial choice during hot days. One fun way you can help keep your dog both cool and hydrated is by making frozen bone broth dog treats.
Happy and Healthy Through the Dog Days of Summer
Understanding how the summer heat affects your dog can help you better care for your pet when it’s warm outside. For more information on where you can find Nature’s Logic products, check out our store locator.