The summer heat wave continues across St. Louis, and pets and people alike need to take care in these extreme temperatures. If you want to bring your dog along for some fun in the summer sun, remember these safety tips to avoid health risks.

Overheating can lead to serious health conditions or even death.

  • Check for one or more signs like labored panting, squinted eyes, slowed pace, shade seeking or lying down, and an apprehensive expression.
  • If your dog shows signs of overheating, seek a cool place and prompt veterinary attention.
  • Schedule exercise in the early morning or evening when it isn’t so hot.
  • To prevent overheating, provide shade with an umbrella and use a fan to circulate air.

Dogs become dehydrated twice as fast when exercising in warm, humid temperatures.

  • Give small amounts of water directly from a bottle every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
  • Provide cool but not ice-cold water, as excessively cold water can constrict the body-cooling blood vessels at the back of throat.
  • If panting excessively, provide several small drinks of water to minimize stomach upset. After panting subsides, provide free access to a full water bowl.

Be prepared for emergencies.

  • Keep a pet first-aid kit with you.
  • Always know the telephone number of a nearby veterinary clinic.

Avoid hot ground surfaces like asphalt and concrete.

  • Hot pavement can burn paw pads.

Summer is a great time for pets and people to enjoy being together, and these tips will help pet owners keep their pals safe in the sun. If you’re interested in reading more hot weather guidelines, visit the Petfinder website and this link for must-see summer safety infographics for pet parents.

SOURCE: Nestlé Purina