As temperatures rise across the United States, we must ensure our pets are kept healthy and cool. Although we all love spending time outdoors during summer, sometimes the temperature is too much for our pups. Understanding pet heat safety is key to knowing how to keep your dog safe during a heat wave.

Below we share our top safety tips for keeping your pet cool and the warning signs of heatstroke dog owners need to be aware of.

What dog owners need to know about pet heat safety

Keeping pet heat safety in mind can make all the difference this summer. While your pooch may be eager to chase your children in the park, too much sun (and heat) is dangerous. Certain dog breeds are impacted more by rising temperatures than others, especially large breeds such as Newfoundlands.

However, that doesn't mean all dogs aren't in danger. Any time your dog is outside during a heat wave, they risk dehydration, overheating, and getting heatstroke. Remember, if it's hot outside for you, it's even hotter for your dog. When it comes to practicing pet heat safety, you'll need to make changes to your dog's daily routine. This could include walking later in the day or minimizing your dog's time outdoors.

Following pet heat safety guidelines are essential for helping your dog have the best time of their lives this summer—without needing a trip to the emergency room.

How to keep your dogs safe this summer

There are many ways you can keep your dog comfortable when the temperatures begin to rise. These tips will certainly come in handy, whether at home, on vacation, or at the beach. Here are the best ways to care for your beloved canine friend during a heatwave:

  • Give them plenty of water. Staying hydrated is crucial for your dog's health. Ensure your pooch has access to fresh, cool water at all times. Place a few ice cubes in their water bowl throughout the day so they can enjoy a refreshing drink.
  • Turn the air conditioning on. If possible, keep the air conditioner on wherever your dog is, especially if you're in the car. On a hot day, our homes and cars can become extremely warm quickly. When driving, open the windows or turn on the air conditioning to have a breezy journey.
  • Walk in shady areas and have frequent breaks. Early morning or late afternoon is best for walks when temperatures are at their coolest. Stick to shady routes and allow your dog to have regular breaks. Remember, their energy levels will be lower during hot weather, and hot cement on walks can burn their paws.
  • Provide supervised swimming time. Swimming is a great way to let your dogs cool down on hot days. If you're lucky to have a pool at home, keep an eye on your pup and practice dog swimming safety measures. Not all dogs are good swimmers, and some don’t even like the water.
  • Give them frozen treats: Another great pet heat safety tip is to give your dog some frozen treats. Freeze small chunks of watermelon or cantaloupe and blend with plain, unsweetened yogurt. This is a delicious and healthy treat to help them cool down.
  • Know when to stay indoors: You and your pooch should always avoid being outside for too long in high temperatures. If in doubt, stay indoors and provide plenty of cool areas in your home for your pet to chill out and have access to fresh water.

Summer is fun, but it comes with a lot of risks. As pet parents, it's our responsibility to protect our dogs during heat waves by practicing good pet heat safety during the hottest days of the year.

Recognize the warning signs of heatstroke

Unfortunately, heatstroke is one illness your dog is at risk of developing during high temperatures. It's a serious and sometimes fatal condition if signs aren't noticed quickly. If your dog isn't acting like their usual self, don't ignore it. Every pet owner should look for signs of heatstroke, including panting, vomiting, excessive drooling, rapid heartbeat, and uncoordinated movements.

In severe cases, your dog may collapse or have seizures. At the first signs of heatstroke in dogs, bring them to a cool area and pour cool water over their body. Try and get your pet to drink small amounts of water. Once they’ve  cooled down a little, bring them to the nearest vet immediately. A local vet will provide emergency care so your dog can recover.

Being a dog wellness plan member is highly recommended during the summer. If your dog needs routine care, Wagmo's plans will give you the coverage you need to keep your dog healthy—regardless of the temperature outside.

Preventative pet wellness plans

At Wagmo, we designed our pet wellness plans to give dog owners access to preventative measures at an affordable cost. When you sign up for one of our plans, your dog's wellness is guaranteed. Along with coverage for regular vet visits, you'll also be covered for routine vaccinations, grooming services, ear care, and dental care.

Get in touch with us to learn more about Wagmo Pet Wellness and Wagmo Pet Insurance plans. Are you interested in signing up for a dog wellness plan? Take our pet wellness quiz to discover which plan suits your needs.