How to Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe in the Summer
As summer arrives, it’s important to take extra measures to keep your beloved four-legged companion cool and comfortable. While dogs have natural ways to manage temperature changes, they can still be vulnerable to the summer heat. In this article, we’ll provide expert tips on how to ensure your dog stays cool, safe, and happy all summer long.
During the sweltering summer months, it’s crucial to keep your dog properly hydrated. Always provide fresh, clean water for them, and consider adding a few ice cubes to their bowl to make it more refreshing. Trust us, they will love it!
If you’re planning outdoor activities, invest in a travel water bowl to ensure your dog can drink on the go. Dehydration in dogs can lead to serious health issues, so watch out for signs like excessive panting, dry gums, or lethargy. Call your vet if you think your dog is suffering from severe dehydration.
Protecting Paw Pads
Hot pavement can burn your dog’s paw pads, just like it would hurt your bare feet. Before walking your dog, test the pavement by placing your hand or bare foot on it for ten seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. You can also schedule walks during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, and opt for grassy areas whenever possible to prevent burns on their paws.
Creating a Cool Environment
Providing a cool environment for your dog is essential for their well-being. During peak heat hours (10 am to 3 pm), bring your dog indoors and keep your house cool by running the air conditioning and lowering the window shades. If your dog prefers to spend time outside, regardless of the temp, ensure they have access to shade and a constant supply of fresh water. You can even consider getting a doggy pool for them to splash around and cool off!
Contrary to popular belief, dog fur helps protect them from both hot and cold weather. Unless advised by a vet, avoid shaving your dog in the summertime. Instead, regularly brush their coat to remove excess fur and prevent matting. However, some breeds may still benefit from a summer trim, so consult a professional groomer or your vet before making any decisions.
Some breeds may even benefit from putting a little sunblock on their coats before going outside. Talk to you vet to find out if your dog needs a little extra sun protection!
Adjusting Exercise Routine
While exercise is important for your dog’s overall health, adapt your routine to the summer heat. Plan walks and play sessions for cooler times of the day and always carry water for both you and your dog. Avoid intense outdoor physical activities during peak heat hours, and choose to engage in indoor games like tug-of-war instead.
You can also consider using a cooling vest for longer outdoor sessions, or adding swimming to the agenda! Swimming can be an excellent exercise option, but ensure your dog’s safety by using a doggy life jacket if needed.
Recognizing Heatstroke Symptoms
Heatstroke is a severe condition that can be fatal to dogs. Learn to recognize the signs, including excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and collapse. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary care. Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs are at higher risk, but heatstroke can affect any dog. If your dog appears overheated but not in immediate danger, cool them down by dipping their paws in cold water and offering ice water to drink. Avoid pouring water on their fur when they are outside as it can make them feel hotter due to the sun.
Humidity plays a significant role in how your dog experiences the heat. Dogs cool themselves through panting, but high humidity limits their ability to cool down effectively. Provide your dog with a cool, air-conditioned space where they can seek relief on humid days.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
Leaving your dog in a car, even with cracked windows, can quickly become life-threatening. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise rapidly, endangering your pet’s life. Not to mention, it is illegal to do so in California. Take a look at this graph to see just how hot it can get inside your car. And remember, this is just a general guide – other factors can make your car even hotter!
If you can’t take your dog with you when you leave the car, it’s best to leave them at home in a safe and cool environment.
Have a Fun Summer
By following these expert tips, you can ensure that your furry friend stays cool, comfortable, and safe throughout the summer. Remember, your dog relies on you for their well-being, so take the necessary precautions to keep them healthy and happy during the warm weather. With a little preparation, you can enjoy a worry-free summer filled with joyous moments with your canine companion.