When the hot days of summer hit, it’s important to keep a close eye on your pup, especially if you’re spending lots of time outside. There are certain indicators that can tip you off when your pet isn’t feeling 100 percent. Take some time and be observant of your pet and their behavior.
If you’re a fan of taking a hike with your pet, it’s important to assess the health of their paws, both before and after your hikes or walks. Dog’s pads should be smooth, but tough. It’s a durable part of their body, but it still runs the risk of getting injured. Some parts of the pads can be pink or light pink, and these are the most sensitive parts of the paw. Check these pads throughout the summer to see if they become rough, or dry. If your dog’s paws become dried out, it’s a sign that they’ve been on surfaces that are too hot. Consider the area that you take your dog’s hiking in, if it’s on hot asphalt, or hot lava rock. There are all natural treatments for healing your dog’s paws if they do become raw. Be sure to remember that your pet’s paws function as a release of toxins and sweat, so you don’t want to use thick lotions or balms on their paws.
A great way to prevent dehydration in your pup, is to know the signs. Know what to look for when you’re out on an 8-mile hike. A great way to tell how hydrated your dog is, is to grab the loose skin on the back of their neck. Do it gently, and observe how quickly the skin returns to place. If you do the same test when your dog is outside in hot weather, the skin may take slightly longer to fall back in place. This is a sure indicator that they’re becoming dehydrating.
Your dog sweats in a different way that you do. They pant. It’s the primary cooling technique that they use. It’s important to monitor them if they’re panting hard after a walk or a hike. This can quickly turn into heat stroke if they don’t hydrate enough.
It’s also important to be considerate of the temperature of water that a dog gets when they’re over heated. If your dog is hot after exertion outside, don’t give them chilled or cold water. If their system is heated up, ice water can cause their intestines to contract or react poorly to the severe difference in temperature. Try hydrating them with lukewarm, or room temperature, water, and observing if the panting slows down and your dog is able to relax. If your dog starts to exhibit signs of heat stroke, it’s important to get to your Bend veterinarian as soon as you can.
Just like you need to take care of yourself in the hot days of summer, your pup needs help too. They might be so stimulated by the hike you’re on, that they forget to drink water. Every time you stop for a sip, remember to offer it to them too. It might not occur to them that they need it.