Woof! It's hot out there, and your dog feels it, too! But there are things you can to do make Atlanta's summer heat more manageable for your dog, while still having lots of fun.
Atlanta runners use a phrase that perfectly describes Atlanta: “Heat, Hills and Humidity”. Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers in Atlanta & Decatur can relate. We’ve gotten used to the hills which give our neighborhoods wonderful character. As for the heat and humidity, let's just say we are grateful for air conditioning, and leave it at that.
But since we care for pets in Atlanta and Decatur year-round, we often spend time outside in less than ideal conditions. Summer can be one of those times. Everyone knows how hot it can get here...whew!
It’s really important to know how hot is too hot for your pets, and what you, as a loving pet owner, can do to keep your pets cool and safe during our hottest months.
Avoid Hot Surfaces
Asphalt and concrete can get very hot. Ever fried an egg on your driveway? Me neither. But you can! You wouldn't let your pet stand in a hot frying pan, but asphalt and concrete that has been in the direct sun can be just as hot, so you should be mindful of that. A good rule of thumb is to place your hand or bare foot on the hot surface. If you can't keep it there for 10 seconds or more before it gets too hot for you, then it's too hot for your dog to walk on.
Try to limit your walks to grassy areas, or shaded areas. If you don't have much grass or shade to walk on, you can always get your dog some stylish booties to protect those paw pads from burns.
Alternatively, you can walk your dogs longer in the early mornings and evenings when it's not as hot. Another thing to consider is that since dogs are closer to the ground, the heat from those hot surfaces radiates up to their bodies and can raise their body temperature, too.
Never Leave Your Pet In A Parked Car
Even with the windows open, the temperature inside a parked car can can raise very quickly, and can lead to heat stroke. In extreme temperatures, things can get bad in a matter of minutes. For that reason, leaving your pet in an unattended car is illegal in many states.
Shade and Water aplenty
It's significantly cooler in the shade, so make sure your dog has plenty of it! When walking your dog, try to walk on the shady side of the street, or go to parks that have lots of tree cover. Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh, clean water at all times, as pets can get dehydrated quickly. And lastly, if it's extremely hot, keep your playtime indoors as much as you can.
Cooling Vests for Everyone!
There are a few additional ways we beat the heat here at Whoa Doggy!. Have you heard of a cooling vest? This stylish vest is designed to keep your dog’s core temperature cool, even as the outside temps reach triple digits.
More Tips for Beating the Heat
Here are a few additional helpful tips from the ASPCA website:
- Make a Safe Splash - Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
- Screen Test - "During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets - mostly cats - fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured," says Dr. Murray. "Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions." Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
- Summer Style - Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
Safe fun with your Pet Sitter or Dog Walker
When your Whoa Doggy! dog walker or pet sitter is with your pet, we are careful to minimize the time spent outside in the hot hot heat.
We’ll always make sure they get a proper potty break and a nice walk, and if it’s really hot, we’ll spend the rest of our scheduled visit having fun, stimulating playtime inside where it is safe and cool.
We’ll always refresh water bowls with cool, clean water and will make sure your pet is comfortable before we leave.
Summer is one of our favorite times of year because of all of the outdoor festivals, BBQs and dog-friendly events that Atlanta and Decatur have to offer.
A little awareness, preparation, and care go a long way in making sure your pets can enjoy it, too!
We’d love to hear from you! How do you and your pets keep cool while still enjoying summer in Atlanta and Decatur? Please share in the comments below!