The weather these days has taken a turn for the extreme, usually being too hot for us to go outside or too cold to make us function. Facing these weather changes can be especially difficult for our dogs. Since they have different biology from humans, they react differently to weather and are affected differently as well.
It is important to know what weather works best with your dog and what to do when the weather gets too warm or too cold for your dog. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation gives us a few tips on what to do.
A general rule of the thumb to us is this: if the outdoor temperature is too hot or cold for a human to be comfortable, it is too severe for your dog. Severe weather affects them more adversely compared to us humans. Hot temperatures, combined with humidity, can cause dehydration and heatstroke. Temperatures lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit can cause hypothermia or frostbite. A responsible dog owner should be able to discern when to take their dog outside.
When It’s Too Cold
Dogs still need exercise even during the winter. And some dogs prefer to play and enjoy the outdoors, regardless of the weather. If you let your dog outside to play in the cold, make sure to provide him with shelter to protect him from the severe weather. A dog house with a solid, raised floor covered with straw or bedding for insulation will help keep him warm. Also, cover the entrance with a flap to keep the drafts out.
Staying warm uses up extra energy, so dogs need plenty of food in cold temperatures. Make sure that there is water readily available, and make sure it isn’t frozen.
When It’s Too Warm
Safe summer temperatures vary depending on humidity levels. Allow your dog to play outdoors only as long as you can join him comfortably – when it’s not too hot for you as well. Make sure you bring plenty of cold, fresh water and take him to a place with access to shade. Place your hand on the sidewalk first to ensure that it’s not hot enough to burn the sensitive pads on your dog’s feet.
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