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As the seasons change, so do the conditions your dog is exposed to when participating in outdoor activities. We’re now going into our hot season so we need to be aware of the heat and how well your dog can tolerate these temperatures. If you’re prepared for the environment and know your limits, then you reduce the risk of health problems and injury.
In Florida, as in other parts of the country, summer can bring extreme heat and humidity. Some dogs can tolerate it better than others, but most don’t tolerate it as well as humans. When exercising your dog, one of the most important things you need to be aware of is signs of overheating, which can lead to heatstroke. You also need to consider the surface your dog walks or runs on (like asphalt) because it can be very hot. Even the toughest pads can feel the effects of the heat on asphalt. If possible, vary the surface he’s walking or running on; sidewalks don’t get as hot as asphalt and grass and dirt will be even kinder to his paws.
The other consideration of summertime is sunburn. Yes, dogs can get sunburned, just like us. Short-coated breeds and light colored dogs are more susceptible than long-coated dogs or those with dark colored fur/hair. However, both have exposed areas that can be affected, such as their nose, ears, and belly. Symptoms may include redness and tenderness, dry, cracked and curling around the edges of the ears, or constant scratching.
So if you’re going to be outside with your dog for any length of time, don’t just put the sunscreen on you – put it on your dog as well! And make sure it’s PABA free, if not it may dangerous to dogs if they lick the area. It’s also a good idea to keep 100% aloe vera gel and witch hazel on hand if our dog does get a sunburn.
Preparing yourself and your dog for the hot summer weather allows both of you to continue to enjoy the exercise or play of the day. It’s important to keep exercising but as long as you’re aware of the harms of the summertime heat and sun you and your dog will be fine.