Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer! Traditionally, referring to the period of particularly hot and humid weather during the peak summer months, especially for North Carolinians. It is a time to enjoy family vacations, walks on the beach, and days at the pool. It’s also a time of cool drinks, making a splash, and much needed air conditioning. Just as these things are important to us to find relief from the heat, pet owners need to do the same for their furry friends. Your pets are likely participating in many joyous summer activities and adventures and will need respite from heat. ☀️

Remember, pets don’t sweat! Dogs pant often in the summertime to release heat, they sweat through their paw pads unlike humans do through their skin.

Let’s work together to keep our pets cool this summer. While there is nothing better than a delicious hotdog 🌭 at a summer BBQ, there is nothing fun about a hot dog.

Call your vet immediately if your dog is experiencing any of the following:
– Sudden lack of energy
– Excessive panting or drooling
– Weakness, disoriented, and/or collapsing
– Dry, sticky, or discolored gums
– Dry nose
– Vomiting
– Loss of appetite
– Glassy eyes
– Seizures

– Dog houses need to be ventilated properly and placed in the shade.
– Pay attention to your plants, do you have anything poisonous?
– For a list of Toxic plants click here.
– Keep grilling supplies out of reach of your pets that love hanging out by the grill.
– Be mindful of that bowl! Always make sure that your pet has indoor and outdoor access to clean, cool water.
– Scan your yard for poisonous snakes as they are experts at camouflage.

– Certain cat and dog breeds are prone to overheating. These breeds include short-nosed pets, senior and geriatric pets, pets that are on medication, and those who have health conditions such as diabetes and kidney or liver disease.
– Be extra careful if you have a flat-faced pet like bulldogs, pugs, and terriers as they cannot pant effectively.
– Keep your dog appropriately groomed to help cool them off. However, dogs with double coats should never be shaved because this removes the protective layer and will interfere with their ability to cool down.
– Dogs get sunburns too!  Be particularly careful if you have short-haired or white-haired pups as they can easily get sunburned. You can even use dog-approved sunscreen!

– Don’t walk your pets during peak sun hours.
– Stay clear of hot asphalt and concrete as it will burn your pet’s sensitive paw pads. Try doing the 7-second test where you place your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds and if you feel discomfort, then it’s too hot.
– If possible, consider adjusting your schedule during the summer months. Playtime and walks are best in the early morning or late evening.
– Don’t have a flexible schedule? Think about doggie day care or personalized pet care provided from pet sitting services such as Cool Cats to help get those wiggles and zoomies out while you’re away.

– Never leave your pet in a parked car alone or with the windows up even if it’s just a few minutes. Cars can heat up quickly and can cause heatstroke which can result in death.
– Be aware of car coolants. Coolant that leaks from your car or is left out is extremely dangerous for pets. Pets are prone to like the smell and may drink the coolant, which can be fatal.

– At the beach, be cognizant of the sand, salt, and surf! 🌊
– While the water can be very inviting, rip currents are dangerous for dogs too. The calmer the water, the better.
– Be cautious while playing fetch as the build up of sand on a ball or stick can be ingested and lead to sand compaction which may disrupt your dog’s GI track and form a blockage.
– You’ve likely seen seagulls enjoy the salty sea; they have built-in desalination filters unlike our pups. Prevent your dog from drinking salt water as too much ingested salt water can cause dehydration.
– Swimming may be a great way to cool down but there is still risk for sun exposure, so your pet needs to have umbrella time too.
– Monitor the activity level of your pets (don’t expect your couch potato to run a marathon).

– Popular summer fruit, watermelon 🍉  is safe for dogs to eat in moderation as it made of 92% water which can help hydrate them on a hot summer day.
– Refreshing pupsicles are a great choice!
– Check out these summer delights!

Summer can be ruff for our pets. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. We hope you enjoy the remaining Dog Days of Summer safely so that your final days of splashing and sunning or hiking and boating are days that capture your fond memories with your loving companions! 😎

A special thanks to Cool Cats Professional Pet Sitting for providing some of the great tips above!

**This blog was written by Positively Apex Intern, Hailey Hawkins**
**Photos provided by Hailey Hawkins and her pups**