It has already been a year of record heat waves, and there’s the potential for even more dangerous weather this summer. The news is full of headlines about the millions of people being impacted by the excessive heat this year. Don’t forget that many of them own pets, too.

If you live in an area impacted by heat waves, you’ll want to keep your dog safe and as comfortable as possible amid the summer heat. Consider these tips to prevent your beloved pet from overheating this summer.

Stay Viligant During Dog Walks

The ASPCA reminds dog owners to seek out shade and avoid over-exercising during hot weather conditions.

Minimize time spent on hot asphalt. The smaller the pet, the closer his or her body is to the reflected heat coming off the pavement. Be vigilant in watching for symptoms of overheating. Signs of distress include labored breathing and excessive panting. Drooling and mild weakness may also suggest overheating. You want to avoid heat stroke at all costs. Signs of this dangerous condition include disorientation, seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect heat stroke, call your veterinarian without delay. Keep in mind that symptoms may take hours or days to appear.

Take extra care with older pets and those with heart or lung conditions. Brachycephalic breeds such as Pekingese, pugs, boxers, and bulldogs have a short head and snout, which can impact their ability to pant and cool off during the summer.

Supplies for a Safe Summer

Here are some products to help your pet beat the heat and stay safe:

Pet-Safe Sunscreen

As with humans, some pets are more vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays than others. Hairless dog breeds like the Xoloitzcuintli, American Hairless Terrier, and the Chinese Crested are high on the list. Dogs with short coats and light-colored fur may also be more susceptible to harsh sunlight. Collies, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Australian Sheepdogs are all examples. The American Kennel Club offers tips for selecting and applying sunscreen for dogs.

Paw Protection

Protect your pet’s paws with protective waxes or dog shoes. Look for anti-slip, water-resistant designs while shopping for dog shoes. These products can also provide important protection during the winter, when sidewalks and streets may be covered in abrasive rock salt.

Cooling Devices

Some breeds are more vulnerable to the heat than others. For extra relief, consider a gel mat, a water-filled pad, or a cooling vest.

Reduce the chance of overheating with a water-filled cooling vest. Refrigerate for a short time to enhance the effect. An outer layer reflects heat while the layer adjacent to the dog’s torso uses evaporation for cooling. Such vests come in a wide range of sizes from extra-small to extra-large. Other designs simply involve wetting, wringing, and applying. A cooling bandana is another option.

Life Jackets

Does your summer agenda include swimming and/or boating with your dog? If so, an appropriate flotation device is a must. Look for dog life jackets that are highly rated for fit, functionality, and, above all else, safety.

Life jackets for dogs are not regulated by the United States Coast Guard. Therefore, use care when buying one. Look for a life jacket with single or dual handles for quick, easy grabbing. Quick release buckles are often a plus. A secure neck float keeps your dog’s head above water. Reflective accents or piping improve visibility. A loop at the top serves as a leash attachment. Insulated life jackets allow for swimming when lake temperatures are low.

Life jackets are particularly important for dogs with low body fat. They’re also a very good idea for older dogs and those with limited mobility.A white Labrador Retriever drinks from a portable water bowl while out for a walk. A quote reads: "If you live in an area impacted by heat waves, you’ll want to keep your dog safe and as comfortable as possible amid the summer heat."

Portable Water Bowls

Pets, like people, risk dehydration in the summer heat. The antidote? Lots of clean, fresh water! Collapsible silicone bowls are an excellent, lightweight item to keep on hand when traveling with your dog. Use a carabiner hook to attach one to your leash or backpack.

Visit a Dog Beach

An exuberant dog and an expansive beach make the perfect mix. Plus, wet dogs can beat the heat thanks to the cooling effects of evaporation. They like the beach just like their owners.

However, it is important to avoid overexertion, according to the American Kennel Club. If there’s no shade to escape to, consider a beach tent during an extended stay. Check on water conditions online or with a lifeguard before letting your dog dive into the water.

Some residents are fortunate enough to have ready access to dog-friendly beaches. For example, Chicago has several dog beaches. Belmont Harbor and Montrose Beach are two popular examples. The Foster Avenue Dog Beach offers a DIY dog wash. Each dog must have a Chicago Park District DFA permit along with a vet-issued vaccination tag. The park districts’ dog-friendly areas do come with certain restrictions. For example, puppies less than four months old are prohibited, as are dogs in heat.

Pet Amenities at Luxury Apartment Properties

At many of Draper and Kramer’s luxury properties, dog owners walk their pets without ever crossing the street. Select from an array of onsite dog parks, indoors and out.

The Aspire Residences in Chicago’s South Loop are one example. Here, residents enjoy the convenience of an onsite outdoor dog park. 1130 S. Michigan is another luxury apartment community in the South Loop. Here, your dog can literally jump through hoops on the lawn of the 24-hour dog deck.

At Grand Plaza in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, residents head up rather than out to walk their dogs. Up to the amenity deck dog park, that is! It features an AstroTurf surface replete with trees and benches. Chicago’s Burnham Pointe at Printers Row offers the convenience of an indoor dog park. It comes replete with turf, fire hydrants, and seating for humans.

Senita at Cave Creek also offers an onsite dog park along with a pet wash station. This luxury apartment community is 25 minutes north of Phoenix, AZ. In Irving, TX, Crest at Las Colinas Station also offers the convenience of a dog park.

Browse our entire selection of luxury apartment properties today.

A Golden Retriever sits between a man and a woman standing on a beach with the water just behind them.

An exuberant dog and an expansive beach make the perfect mix. Plus, wet dogs can beat the heat thanks to the cooling effects of evaporation. They like the beach just like their owners.

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