Victoria’s Hot Weather Tips

shutterstock_268690484Summer is here, which brings with it beautiful weather, warm temperatures, and lots of fun in the sun. While summertime is a great season for dogs and humans to relax and enjoy the outdoors, there always seem to be too many terrible heat-related tragedies that occur. Check out my top tips for keeping your dog safe, happy, and healthy during the hot summer months.

#1: NEVER leave a dog unattended in a car for ANY amount of time during warm weather.

This one can't be emphasized enough. Every year there are countless canine fatalities due to being left alone in hot cars. In 85 degree weather, the dashboard can heat up to 170 degrees in just 15 minutes.

Many areas have laws prohibiting owners from leaving their dogs shut inside a hot car. Do the right thing and leave your pet at home if you need to run an errand! Contact local law enforcement if you see a dog locked inside a car during hot weather.

#2: Be mindful on walks.

A dog's paws can easily burn on hot pavement, so be careful when and where you let him walk. It's best to walk your dog in the morning or evening, between the peak hours of the summer heat, as a dog can easily become overheated on a walk.

Certain dogs are more prone to overheating than others--for example, brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Boxers, and Pugs have reduced oxygen intake due to their less efficient breathing. Long-haired or double-coated breeds also have a tendency to overheat. Know your dog and don't let him get too hot!

#3: Don't leave your dog unattended outside.

While dogs enjoy the outdoors, it's never a good idea to leave your dog outside unattended, especially for long hours. Even with access to shade, it can still be dangerously hot for dogs.

When your dog does spend time outdoors, especially during the hot summer months, it is critical that he have access to fresh, cool water at all times.

#4: Don't skimp on preventatives.

During the summer months, dogs are especially prone to being exposed to potentially troublesome pests like ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas. Heartworm and flea/tick preventatives are important year-round, but they are especially critical during hot weather.

Remember--it just takes one bite from an infected mosquito to give your dog heartworms, and where there's one flea or tick, there's likely to be more. Prevention is key.

#5: Have fun with your dog--safely!

Many dogs love the water. Swimming is a fantastic exercise for dogs, especially seniors and those with arthritis or other joint issues. It is also a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your four-legged friend. Always keep an eye on your dog whenever he's in the water, and don't let him get overly fatigued. And don't forget a life vest for your dog if you're going out to a lake or ocean.

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Positively Expert: Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the internationally acclaimed TV series, It’s Me or the Dog. A bestselling author, Stilwell frequently appears in the media as a pet expert and is widely recognized and respected as a leader in the field of animal behavior.


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