Being cooped up all winter makes dogs antsy and lazy, and when the weather turns nice they can't wait to barrel through the grass on their daily adventures. However, in addition to fleas and ticks, pet owners need to be mindful of how hot the weather gets and take precautionary measures to ensure their dog doesn't suffer from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. With all their fur and their penchant for running around it's very easy for certain breeds of dogs to overheat, and if left alone this can be a serious problem.
Don’t leave your Pet in the Car - Short trips that don't involve prolonged time in a hot car is fine, but if you are going shopping or out to eat, it is recommended you leave your pet at home. Even when you crack a window pets can overheat quickly in a car and may start to panic which can lead to their paws pushing some buttons and hitting some levers that shouldn't be touched. Pets in cars are also at risk for being taunted by children or getting overexcited when another pet is near.
Have Water Available - Dogs know when they need to drink so you don't have to watch over them; just leave a bowl of cold water in a place they know and if possible check it throughout the day to ensure it is full and the water is clean. Even when kept inside, pets may succumb to sudden heat waves and if you are not home to adjust the air conditioning, at least provide water so your pets can stay hydrated.
Keep Watch for Pet Behavior - If you notice your pet panting excessively, seeking out cool places to lie down and struggling to walk, it's a sure sign the pet is too hot. Usually some time in an air conditioned room with some cold water should be enough for your dog or cat to rest and rebound, but if the symptoms persist contact your local vet and make an appointment for a checkup.