A Letter from Your Dog: 6 Things You Should Know About the Heat
I know I don’t have to tell you this, but it’s hot. Like, really hot.
I’m a Texas dude—born and raised—but that doesn’t mean I can handle the heat any better than a Yankee pup can. After all, I’m covered in thick fur from head to paw and can get overheated even from spending a few minutes playing outside.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t do fun outdoor things—I just need you to help me so that I can stay safe and cool all summer long.
Here’s what you should know:
- 1. Never, ever, ever leave me in the car—even with the windows open. I get hot (and sad) just thinking about it. Even if you have the windows open on an 85-degree-day, the inside of the car could get up to 120 degrees! And if you think that’s hot, picture it from my perspective—covered in fur, human’s gone, can’t sweat, crammed in a little place, no fun. Even if you leave me water, it’s still hot, so just let me stay at home inside if you can’t bring me on your human errands with you.
- 2. Let’s do our fun things early in the morning! Hey, the last thing I want you to do is to keep me inside all summer just because it’s hot. We can still do fun outdoor things—but take me out in the morning or evening, when it’s not as bad. Keep me in the shade and be sure to always bring fresh water and a bowl wherever you take me, so that I can drink up while we’re out.
- 3. Look out for my paws. You wear shoes, so maybe you don’t know—but our sidewalks and roads can get hot, even in the morning! Sometimes they burn my paw pads, so try to walk me on the grass if you can. Earth is softer and cooler on my paws, and it smells better than pavement, too!
- 4. Keep me cool. The easiest way to keep me cool is to keep me inside in the air conditioning, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Besides, if that’s where you are, that’s where I want to be too! If you absolutely have to keep me outside, make sure I have lots of shade and a cool place to rest—and plenty of water!
- 5. Groom me. I know…I know…I’m pretty handsome as-is. But I do need you to brush my heavy undercoat sometimes, because you’d be surprised how much that can cool me down! Oh, also—you can give me a nice haircut, but please not too short because I need my fur to protect my skin from sunburn.
- 6. Know the signs of heatstroke. Even a 15-minute walk in the heat could make me overheated. If I show these symptoms, I might need immediate help: panting (more than normal), glazed eyes, laziness, dizziness, throwing up, fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, weakness, trouble walking or standing, major drooling or a red and purple tongue. Take me to a cooler area (shade or the AC) and put some cold towels on my chest, neck and head pronto. Give me some water and then call the vet.
Like I said, I’m a Texas dude—but just like you, I can get hot real fast in our crazy summer weather. So keep these tips in mind so that we can both stay cool this season!
Author: Bana Jobe