As we approach June, temperatures here in Arizona are climbing. At Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert, it’s the time of year when we start seeing more and more pets who are overheated, dehydrated, and suffering from the effects of our harsh desert summers. Unfortunately, some pet parents tend to forget that if it feels hot to them, it’s even worse for their pets. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe during the summer in Arizona:
Your dog can become dehydrated very quickly during an Arizona summer, even if they’re not out and about during the hottest part of the day. If you’re not already in the habit of taking water with you when you leave the house with your pet, we highly recommend starting that practice ASAP. We also recommend keeping a collapsible water bowl in your car.
2. Stay in the Shade
We know trees are sparse here in Arizona. Still, it’s important to keep your pet in the shade whenever possible. Exposure to the direct Arizona sun can cause your pet to overheat quickly. Prolonged exposure could cause a painful sunburn or even heat stroke.
3. Protect His Paws
One of the best things you can do for your dog during an Arizona summer is to protect his paws.
The simplest solution is to keep your dog inside or allow them to run in a grassy backyard. But we know that’s not always feasible—sometimes, you’ve got to take your pet out onto a hot sidewalk. In that case, booties are a great way to prevent the pads of your dog’s feet from burning and blistering.
4. It Might be Time for a Haircut
If your pet is particularly fluffy, he might find some relief from the heat in a seasonal new hairdo. However, it’s important to do your research beforehand, since not all breeds should be shaved. If you do have a breed that may benefit from a trim, be careful not to shave him completely. A dog’s skin is highly sensitive, and such direct exposure to the Arizona sun can cause a painful sunburn. Be sure to check with us before having your pet shaved.
5. NEVER Leave Your Dog in the Car
According to a study conducted in Phoenix in 2014, the air inside a car parked in the shade during the summer can reach up to 122 degrees, while the surfaces in your car can reach up to 169 degrees. It’s even hotter if you park in the direct sun. At those temperatures, an animal can suffer extreme heat exhaustion or death within just a few minutes, even if you crack the windows. In 2017, Arizona passed a law that allows good Samaritans to break a car window in order to rescue a pet or child from a locked car under certain conditions.
6. Watch for Heatstroke
As we mentioned earlier, heatstroke is a major concern in the summer. Any sudden or dramatic change in your pet’s appearance, mood, behavior, or habits is concerning, especially when it’s hot outside. If your dog shows any of these signs, bring him in to Anasazi Animal Clinic immediately, as heatstroke is life-threatening. We offer emergency services Monday-Saturday.
Give us a Call
Here at Anasazi Animal Clinic, your dog’s safety and well-being is our highest priority. If you have any more questions about keeping your dog safe during the summer in Arizona, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Your fur baby deserves the best care possible this summer and all year long!