The canine companions of the families who live in MorningStar are some very lucky dogs! With luscious landscapes, walking trails, resort-style amenities, this planned-community, located north of Austin in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, is a perfect environment for dogs and their owners. While neighborhoods are definitely dog-friendly, the Texas summer heat can cause any dog to get a little hot under the collar. This means that pet owners should be aware of the various ways to keep these furry buddies safe.
Six Simple Rules to Follow
There are at least six ways to keep the “Dog Days of Summer” from making your pooch miserable.
Go Easy on the Exercise for Your Dog in the Summer
According to this article from American Humane, “Even if your pets are active, get exercise every day and are in excellent physical shape, you may want to scale back their activities or change your exercise routine to the cooler hours of the morning or evening. That will allow them to acclimate to the sudden increases in daily temperatures that occur during those spring-into-summer days. And while people have the capacity to perspire and cool themselves during exercise, our furred friends are limited in how they can cool themselves, relying on panting and limited sweating through the bottoms of their feet.” A slow walk on the trails of MorningStar during the morning hours is a good alternative.
Have Plenty of Fresh, Cold Water Available
While it seems simple, many dog owners forget to have a readily available source of freshwater for their four-legged buddies. According to this source, “Whether you’re taking your dog on a hike or just playing in the backyard, it’s important to make fresh, cold water available and accessible for him.
“When you’re out and about, bring a portable, collapsible water bowl or a squirt bottle. Give him small amounts of water every 15 to 20 minutes during activity. Make sure you have enough cool water to last the entire time you’re gone. If your dog starts panting excessively, get him to the shade and give him more water right away.”
Play in the Water
Kids and dogs love to play in thewater! Even a small, plastic blow-up “pool” can be the perfect antidote for helping a dog overcome the stifling heat of the summer. Playing fetch with your dog in a sprinkler, lake or other water source is a great way to help them cool down and have some fun!
Never Leave a Pet in a Closed Vehicle
The experts at AH note that “Nearly everyone knows that leaving a pet in a closed vehicle on a 100-degree day is dangerous. However, it is the pleasant days of spring and early summer that can be the most dangerous times for pets left in vehicles. Many people forget that pets are affected by heat much more quickly than humans are, and that leaving a pet in a car for just a minute can have a deadly outcome. Remember that cars heat up fast—even with the windows cracked!”
Dog Houses Can be Dangerous in the Summer
Dog houses don’t allow for air flow, which makes them dangerous in the summer heat. If it is necessary keep outside dogs cool in summer, give them plenty of shady areas to lounge in with fresh, cool water on hand. Adding ice to the water bowl can also help.
Know the Signs of Heatstroke
According to several online veterinarian sources, heatstroke is a serious risk for dogs on hot days. Puppies, senior dogs and those in poor health are at a higher risk. Knowing what to look for is critical.
Symptoms of heatstroke include:
- Excessive panting and/or salivating
- Obvious discomfort
- Vomiting and diarrhea
If you notice any of the above symptoms, get your dog into a cooler environment as soon as possible and call your veterinarian for further instructions
Any time you’re out and about with your dog, pay attention to his behavior and body language. If your dog suddenly starts holding back on a walk or run, that’s a clear sign to take a break and cool off. Another thing to look for is the way he holds his ears and tail. If his ears are erect and he’s alert and looking around, great. If they start to droop, that’s worrisome. The same goes for the tail. If they have a tail that’s normally up and wagging, it will start to drift down or even go all the way down, which is another warning sign.
Let the Fun Begin!
With so many fun things to do in MorningStar, even the “Dog Days of Summer” are a blast for both kids and adults. With a little planning and observation, all of the canine companions can have fun too.
If you would like to see why MorningStar is one of the best kept secrets in Central Texas, click here to schedule a visit. And if you like, bring along your dog!