Dogs aren’t able to complain about hot weather, but they can certainly feel discomfort from it, just like humans. If exposed to scorching temperatures for long enough, your dog may even suffer from heatstroke. A critical part of dog ownership is making sure that you keep your best friend safe, cool, and comfortable year-round, especially when you can’t be there to watch them.
1. Don't leave your dog in the car without AC.
It gets a lot hotter inside your car than you might realize, even when the weather outside feels relatively mild. Research has shown the following information:
Even with the windows cracked open, if a car’s interior is not left in cold conditions, its temperature rises 19 degrees Fahrenheit in the first 10 minutes, and 29 degrees in the first 20 minutes.
The interior of a car parked in sunlight on a 95-degree day or hotter will reach an average of 116 degrees. Cars in the shade reach about 100 degrees.
Research also shows that cracking a window does little to slow down how fast an “un-air-conditioned” car heats up.
If you can’t take your dog out of the car with you wherever you’re going, or if someone can’t stay in the car with them while the AC runs, it’s best to leave them at home.
2. Supply your dog with lots of clean water.
When you’re properly hydrated, your body is better able to regulate its temperature. The same goes for your dog! Even if you refill her water every morning, always check it throughout the day, as the summer heat can cause the water to evaporate more quickly than it would during other times of the year.
You can ensure your dog gets the best hydration possible by getting her a doggy drinking fountain, like this indoor/outdoor model from Drinkwell. The charcoal filtration system purifies the water, and the constant flow prevents issues like mosquito infestations.
3. Buy your dog a bed for warm weather.
Your dog’s plush, shearling bed might be perfect for colder months, but she needs a cool place to get comfortable during summer. Raised, mesh cots are typically best for air circulation, but she might also enjoy a gel, pressure-activated, cooling mat if she prefers resting in her crate.
4. Give your dog plenty of shade.
If your dog spends a lot of time outside, she’ll be much more comfortable under the shade of awnings and trees than inside a dog house. Because of their size, dog houses tend to trap heat. During summer, a dog house becomes a dog sauna.
5. Protect your dog's paws.
Hot dirt, sand, or pavement can burn your dog's paw pads and cause painful blistering. If you're unsure if the ground is too hot for your dog's paws, use the "Five Second Rule." Try to hold your hand down on the ground for 5 seconds. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your dog! You can protect your dog's paws by walking them earlier in the day or later in the evening when the ground is cooler. You can also invest in some hot weather dog shoes like these WagWellies® Mojave from Wagwear®.
6. Let your AC run every so often.
If your dog is staying indoors while you’re away for the day, don’t turn your air conditioner off completely. You’ll actually save energy while keeping your dog cooler if you let your AC cycle periodically. Letting your AC run every so often reduces the hot and cold fluctuations in your home, which keeps it at a more consistent temperature that costs less to maintain.
“Texans Know Heat, We Know Cooling”
For more home comfort tips from our experts at Rescue Air Heating and Cooling, check out our other blog posts! For fast, fair AC repairs, call us today at (972) 201-3253.