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5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Heat

two dogs sitting before door

High temperatures pose a risk for our four-legged friends. With wildfire season in progress, it’s important to be aware of how heat affects your dog and how you can keep them safe.

Dogs are unable to regulate their body temperature as effectively as humans, which puts them at risk for heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. As responsible pet owners, it's our duty to take the necessary steps to keep our dogs safe and comfortable during the hot weather.

How To Keep Your Dog Safe In The Heat

Even though the heat can be dangerous for your dog, there are plenty of things you can do to mitigate the risk of heat stroke and dehydration.

Here are five ways to keep your dog safe in the heat: 

1) Never Leave Your Pet In a Parked Car

Leaving a pet in a parked car, even for just a few minutes, can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. During hot weather, the inside of a car can quickly become a furnace, even with the windows partially open. In fact, on a hot day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to 120 degrees Fahrenheit within just a few minutes.

Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke because they are unable to cool themselves down as efficiently as humans. They pant to regulate their body temperature, but when the air is hot and humid, this becomes less effective. Heat stroke is a serious condition that can cause organ failure, brain damage, and even death.

If you need to run errands with your dog during hot weather, it’s best to leave them at home. If you must bring them along, make sure to park in a shaded area and bring plenty of water for them to drink. If you need to leave your car, take your dog with you. Leaving the car running with the air conditioning on is not a safe option, as the car could malfunction and put your pet at risk.

Remember, when it comes to keeping your dog safe in the heat, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Never leave your pet in a parked car, and always be aware of the signs of heat stroke, such as excessive panting, drooling, and lethargy. If you suspect your dog is experiencing heat stroke, seek veterinary attention immediately.

2) Limit Outdoor Exercise

During the hot summer months, it's important to limit your dog's outdoor exercise to avoid heat exhaustion, dehydration, and burns on their paws. One of the best ways to do this is by scheduling walks during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or evening. This will not only help prevent your dog from overheating but also reduce the risk of paw burns from hot pavement.

dogs running through water

When the temperature rises, asphalt and concrete can become very hot and can burn your dog's paws, causing blisters and other injuries. To test if the pavement is too hot for your dog's paws, press the back of your hand on the pavement for several seconds. If it's too hot for your hand, then it's too hot for your dog's paws.

If you must take your dog outside during the hotter parts of the day, consider investing in booties or paw protectors. These can help protect your dog's paws from burns and injuries. Additionally, you can try walking your dog on grass or dirt paths instead of pavement, as these surfaces tend to stay cooler.

Another way to limit your dog's outdoor exercise is by providing indoor activities and mental stimulation. You can play games with your dog, such as hide and seek or tug-of-war, or teach them new tricks and commands. These activities will help keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated without exposing them to the heat.

Having a dog door can help prevent your dog from becoming stranded outside when the temperatures get too hot. The Endura Flap is perfect for extreme heat as the same technology that keeps out drafts also prevents air conditioning from escaping your home. 

If you need to block off access to your pet door to prevent your dog from going outside in the first place, you can use a locking cover. Every Endura Flap pet door comes with a locking cover, but you can also check out this Watchdog Security Dog Door Cover for extra protection. 

3) Provide Plenty Of Fresh Water

Providing plenty of fresh water is essential to keep your dog hydrated and cool during the hot summer months. Dogs need access to clean, cool water at all times, especially when the temperature rises.

To ensure your dog has enough water, make sure to refill their water bowl regularly and keep an eye on their water intake. If you notice your dog drinking more or less water than usual, it could be a sign of dehydration or another health issue. Additionally, consider placing multiple water bowls around your home, so your dog always has access to water, even if they're in a different part of the house.

In addition to water, you can also help keep your dog hydrated with pet-friendly fruits and vegetables. Some good options include watermelon, cucumber, cantaloupe, and berries. These foods are high in water content and can help keep your dog cool and hydrated. However, be sure to remove any seeds or pits, as they can be a choking hazard for your dog.

It's important to note that not all fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs. Avoid giving your dog grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic, as these can be toxic to dogs and cause serious health problems. If you're unsure about what foods are safe for your dog, consult with your veterinarian.

dog sitting in the dark

4) Prepare For Power Outages

Power outages are a common occurrence during hot weather, and they can be especially dangerous for pets. When the power goes out, air conditioning systems, fans, and other cooling mechanisms stop working, leaving your dog vulnerable to heat exhaustion and dehydration. It's important to be prepared for potential power outages to keep your dog safe.

One of the best ways to prepare for a power outage is by having a disaster plan in place. This plan should include steps to take before, during, and after a power outage. Before a power outage, make sure you have plenty of supplies on hand, including bottled water, dog food, and any medications your dog may need. You should also have a go-bag packed and ready to go in case you need to evacuate.

Your go-bag should include a few days' worth of dog food, bottled water, and any medications your dog needs. You should also pack a first aid kit, a leash and collar, and a few toys or blankets to help keep your dog calm and comfortable. Additionally, make sure you have a copy of your dog's vaccination records and any other important documents.

During a power outage, it's important to keep your dog cool and hydrated. You can do this by providing plenty of fresh water and finding a cool, shady spot for your dog to rest. You can also use fans or cool towels to help keep your dog cool. If the power is out for an extended period, consider moving your dog to a cooler location, such as a friend's house or a pet-friendly hotel.

5) Keep Your Home Cool

Keeping your home cool is crucial for the comfort and safety of your dog during hot weather. Dogs can quickly become overheated and develop heat exhaustion, which can be life-threatening. To keep your home cool, there are several steps you can take.

Running the air conditioning or fans throughout your home is an effective way to keep the temperature down. If you have central air conditioning, make sure your filters are clean and change them regularly. If you use window units, make sure they're in good working order and have enough BTUs to cool the room. You can also use ceiling fans or portable fans to circulate cool air throughout your home.

Another way to keep your home cool is by blocking out the sun's heat. Close your curtains or blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep the sun's rays from heating up your home. You can also use reflective window film or install awnings or shades to block out the sun.

While it's important for your dog to get exercise and fresh air, it's best to avoid letting them hang out in the yard for too long on very hot days. Dogs can easily overheat in direct sunlight, even if they have access to shade and water. Instead, schedule walks and outdoor playtime for the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening when the temperature is lower.

Bonus Tip: Not all pet doors are drafty! An insulated pet door like the Endura Double Flap Wall Mount helps keep your home cool on hot summer days. 

Elizabeth Muenzen

Written by

Content Specialist

Pets: My dog Benji is mixed Yorkie, Poodle, Chihuahua, and MaltiPom (YorkiPooChiMaltiPom?), yet he mysteriously bears no resemblance to any of these breeds.
Fun stuff: I love to cook!

Content Specialist

Pets: My dog Benji is mixed Yorkie, Poodle, Chihuahua, and MaltiPom (YorkiPooChiMaltiPom?), yet he mysteriously bears no resemblance to any of these breeds.
Fun stuff: I love to cook!

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