The dog days of summer are here. We know this thanks to the recent heat wave we have suffered. Still, it’s the time of year we spend hiking, swimming, hanging out at the beach and going on picnics. But while we all look forward to enjoying the outdoors this summer, let’s not forget about the safety of our beloved pets.

You see, just like us, our pets can suffer a heat-related illness. So it is important that you ensure your dog or cat is safe from the heat of summer. It’s hard to keep pets cool when the sun is beating down, and this is because pets don’t sweat to keep cool like we do. Dogs cool themselves through panting and they sweat through their paws as well. When the air is hot, it makes it more difficult for your dog to keep cool.

Total Care Heating and Air, your AC repair service in Riverside, offers these tips to keep your pet cool this summer.

Know the Reasons

There are two reasons pets get overheated, hypothermia and their upper respiratory system. Hypothermia occurs when pets become trapped in an environment that prevents them from cooling themselves. For example, when they are locked in a hot vehicle.

Pets with compromised airways, like bulldogs for example, have a more difficult time cooling themselves through panting. Sometimes, in an attempt to cool themselves, they wind up generating even more heat, which can lead to heat stroke.

Stay Out of the Sun

Your dog is a lot smarter than you think. It the heat of the day, you can find him lying on the cool tile floor in the kitchen. You prefer to slather yourself up with sunscreen and bake in the sun.

Don’t make your pet suffer the hottest part of the day in the sun with you. Save your outdoor time with Fido for the early mornings or in the evenings when it is cooler. By taking your runs or walks with your dog in the morning or evening, the air is not as hot and your pet can breathe easier and remain cool.

Find Some Shade

If you happen to find yourself outside with your pet in the heat of the day, do your best to keep them out of the direct sunlight. Your best bet is to find a nice shady spot to rest.

Also, keep in mind that hot asphalt can burn your dog’s pads on their paws.

Keep Pets at Home

As much as you enjoy Fido’s company when you go on errands, keep him at home on hot days. One classic mistake pet owners make is keeping their dogs in a car on warm days. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be hot outside for the temperatures inside your car to reach dangerous highs. Even on a day with quite comfortable temperatures, your dog can face serious risks being left in the car.

Plenty of Water

In addition to getting overheated, pets can also get dehydrated rather quickly. So you will want to ensure your pet has plenty of fresh water available at all times. Because pets pant to keep cool, fluids rapidly evaporate from their respiratory tract. These fluids can only be replaced by drinking water.

Be Aware of the Breed

If your pet has a flat-shaped face, like a pug, Boston terrier or Persian cat, they cannot pant as effectively and have a more difficult time keeping cool. So you need to be extra careful with these types of pets in the heat.

You also need to be extra careful in the heat with pets that are older, overweight or have an illness or disease. It is best if you just keep them out of the heat.

Don’t Shave

Contrary to popular belief, shaving your pet will not help cool them down. In fact, the layers of fur on your pet help them from overheating and protect them from the sun. Trimming your pet is fine and brushing is always recommended, just don’t shave them.

Total Care Heating and Air is there to repair your AC unit and ensure your pets are cool and comfortable. If you are experiencing trouble with your air conditioner, give us a call.