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It’s been a surprisingly mild Texas summer. Even as August rolled in, temperatures have stayed in the 90s, with nary a triple digit day in sight. But just because it’s cooler than normal for the two-leggeds, the furry four-leggeds can still be at risk. For the experienced Texans who have weathered many days in a row with the thermometer topping the century mark, we may have lost some perspective—it’s still summer and it’s still hot!  Brachycephalic (flat muzzle) dogs, long hair, young pups, and seniors, in particular, tend to overheat quickly. And, as we all know, even on pleasant 90°F days, the temperature in cars can quickly increase—in just 10 minutes a car interior can reach 109°F. 

The Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC) is a nonprofit organization created by a team of industry experts to recognize high-quality pet care providers. In fact, Barkaritaville Pet Resort’s founder holds the elite designation of Professional Animal Care Operator (CPACO) from PACCC. The organization is also dedicated to educating pet parents which is why they recently put together a free webinar on summer safety for pet parents. It’s super informative and covers everything from summer temps to summer treats. You can watch the complete hour-long video here. Don’t have time right now but still want to learn how to protect your pets? We’ve pulled together some of the video’s key highlights and more, below.

Summer temps and how to tell if it’s too hot for your pet

  • Check the pavement (hold the back of your hand on the pavement for at least five seconds). When the pavement his 125°F pads can burn in 60 seconds.
  • Do not forget to consider the humidity. For example, a temperature of 95°F and relative humidity of 50% will “feel” like 107°F. Learn more from the National Weather Service.
  • Dogs sweat through their paws and cool themselves down by panting which requires a lot of work on their part. It’s essential to ensure they stay cool all day as they can suffer a fatal heat stroke within minutes.
  • Dogs can sunburn, too. Be sure to protect their skin (noses and behind the ears are affected most).
  • Check for signs of heat stroke: drooling, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, unsteadiness.
  • Do not leave animals unattended in a hot car. Have someone stay with the animal if you need to stop or bring them in with you (if allowed). Plan your outing around your dog; drop them off at home if you have errands to complete.

Hydration (in hot weather, dogs need 3-4 times more water)

  • Provide access to fresh, cool water all day, allow them to chew on ice chips, and keep track of how much water they’re intaking during the day.
  • Because you do not want them to ingest a lot of water at one time, encourage getting a drink often throughout the day.
  • Boost electrolytes by providing a water enhancer (store bought or make homemade broth).
  • Add some wet food into their diet.
  • Do not allow them to drink chlorinated/chemical water from pools.

Inside fun

In January, we wrote “Fun Indoor Games for Dogs on Cold or Rainy Days.” And guess what? On the too hot days when we should all be inside, these same simple and fun indoor training ideas help keep furry family members entertained, minds and bodies active, while the four-leggeds and the two-leggeds stay cool! Read it here.