Summer activities are fun for you and your family, including your dog, but you should be careful when it comes to the heat. Human beings have efficient "cooling systems" which keep you from getting sick while you do that strenuous hike in the middle of the day. Your dog cools off differently and is more suited to being active during the cooler times of the day or during the night. Therefore, you must take special precautions when it comes to doing things with your dog during the hot seasons:
Provide plenty of cool water:
Provide your dog water at all times and take water for your dog with you wherever you go. There are several collapsible watering bowls on the market which can be easily carried while you're out walking. The water can be cool, but don't let your dog drink ice cold water when he gets overheated as it could make things worse.
Watch the paws:
Your dog's paws are very sensitive and your dog uses them to keep cool. Always check to make sure the pavement your dog is walking on is cool to the touch so the pads won't get burned. Even if it is only warm and not very hot, your dog can still get overheated because he will not be able to sweat through his feet. Try walking your dog on grass or dirt whenever possible.
Leave your dog at home:
If you're planning a long hike or walk which will have you being active during the hot part of the day, then it may be better to leave your dog at home. Sure, it is fun to take your dog on these activities and he will likely love to go, but he will be at risk for overheating. Make sure he has a cool area inside the home or yard and leave him with plenty of cool water.
Signs of heat stroke in dogs:
One of the signs that your dog is on the verge of having a heat stroke is that he will be panting really heavily, lies down refuses to get up. He will seem "out of it" and his tongue may be bright red and the gums very pale. If this is happening, immediately move your dog into the shade. You can pour lukewarm water to help him cool off, but not cold water. Get your dog to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you are engaged in an activity where you are sweating heavily, chances are your dog could be suffering equally as much or more. When your dog begins to pant continuously, slow down and rest often, as panting can be difficult if your dog is forced to move quickly. If you must do a lot of activity with your dog during the summer, then try to do it in the early morning or late evening.
Contact your local vet hospital for more information and assistance on dog care.