Keeping your dog cool when temperatures rise

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The average temperature in December in Arizona is 67 degrees Fahrenheit. In July, the temperature soars to 106. It’s uncomfortable, but at least we can turn on the AC, change into a bathing suit, and drink an ice-cold beverage to cool down. For dogs, who can’t so easily slip out of their thick fur—rising temperatures are a lot more than uncomfortable. They can be dangerous.

So what can you do to make sure your dog stays safe during the hottest months of the year? Follow these five easy steps to make sure your furry friend keeps cool. 

Don’t leave your dog in a parked car

On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car, with the windows cracked, can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. So what about when the temperature is already 106—like your average July day in Arizona? If you leave a dog in a parked car, they may experience organ damage or death. Never leave your pup in the car, even for a couple of minutes. 

Consult with your vet before shaving your dog

Though it may seem like common sense to get your dog shaved down for the summer months, it’s not always the best (or safest) decision. Some dogs have coats that are designed to keep them cool, even if it may not look like it. Talk with your vet, and make sure your dog’s coat can safely be shorn. 

Keep them hydrated!

Just like humans, dogs need more water when the weather gets warm. Make sure they always have cold, fresh water. Add ice cubes when necessary. 

Run the AC

If it’s not a luxury for you, then it’s not a luxury for them. Dogs cool themselves by panting—exchanged warm air for cooler air. If they don’t have access to cooler air, then they can’t cool themselves down. That’s when the risk for heat stress and exhaustion increases. When the temperature gets above 80 degrees (and especially if the humidity is high), keep your air conditioning running for your dog even if you’re not at home. 

Limit exercise

A summer afternoon is not the best time to take your dog for a hike. Plan exercise for the morning or evening, when the sun’s lower and there’s more shade. And keep the amount of activity in line with the temperature—the hotter it is, the less energy your pup should use. And always watch for signs of heat stroke
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