The dog days of summer can be dangerous for your pooch.  Read these tips to keep your dog safe and happy during this hot and humid Indiana summer.

1. Never leave your pet in a parked car in the summer.  Even with the windows open, the car can quickly become hot enough to cause heatstroke, brain damage, and even death.  On an 85-degree day the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 104 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 119 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die at these temperatures.

2. Don’t walk your dog on asphalt or cement. It’s hotter near those surfaces and since your dog is low to the ground, his body can heat up quickly.  Also his sensitive paw pads can burn causing pain for days.  Check the ground for hotness with one of your own hands or bare feet. If you can’t keep your hand (or foot) on the ground for more than three seconds, it’s probably too hot for your pup.  Walking on grass is a better option.

3. Provide clean, fresh water and shade.  Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors.  Some dogs won’t drink hot water so fresh is important.  Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun and bring them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

4. Limit outdoor exercise.  On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.  Always carry water with you.  If the humidity is too high, dogs are unable to cool themselves by panting, and their temperature can quickly skyrocket to dangerous levels.

5. Take your dog for a swim, a splash in a kiddy pool or romp through a sprinkler.  This is a great way for him to get exercise and stay cool.

The chart below shows just how hot your car can get on the inside:

Outside Temp (F) Temp after 10 min in car (F) Temp after 30 min in car (F)
75 94 109
85 104 119