Help Your Pup Beat the Heat and Stay Cool During the Summer
As the weather heats up, this could mean plenty of outdoor fun for you and your pup! While spending more time outdoors can be a great way to burn off excess energy and can be fun for all involved, the summer heat can be very taxing on your dog. Unfortunately, our pups don’t have the efficient ‘cooling system’ that us humans have – sweat. Therefore, they can easily become overheated and even suffer a heat stroke! Keep your pup cool and safe this summer with these easy tips:
NEVER EVER LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE IN A CAR
This may seem obvious to a lot of responsible pet parents, but it is always worth repeating. The inside of a car can be 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature within a matter of minutes. Even if it isn’t very hot outside, it can very quickly become too hot for your dog in the car. Leaving the windows open isn’t enough to keep your car at a safe temperature. If you need to run errands or go somewhere your dog can’t go inside with you, the best thing is to leave your faithful pup at home or at daycare.
KEEP YOUR DOG HYDRATED
One of the easiest and most effective ways of cooling off your pup is by keeping them hydrated with some fresh cool water. You can do this by carrying around a portable, collapsible water bowl and bottles of cold water. It is important to ensure your pup is drinking water every hour when exposed to hot weather conditions. If you notice your dog is panting excessively, get them into the shade and offer more water immediately.
ENJOY SOME WATER ACTIVITIES
What better way to help your pup beat the heat than by going for a swim or enjoying some water play activities? A kiddie pool or a yard sprinkler are great ways for your pup to get in some much-needed exercise while enjoying the summer weather. Keep in mind that there are various pool sizes, so be sure you get the one that’s the right size for your furry friend. For added safety, make sure to supervise your pup around kiddie pools and invest in a life jacket.
CHECK BEFORE YOU WALK!
Just like the inside of a car, concrete and asphalt can be significantly hotter than the air outside. During the summer months, always check the temperature of the ground before you and your pup go walking. To do this, place the back of your hand against the pavement and hold it there for at least 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s feet.
Some dogs may benefit from a nice, short summer haircut. However, a dog’s coat isn’t just for keeping them warm. A healthy coat can also help keep a dog cool by regulating their normal body temperature. Talk to your vet about any grooming options you’re considering for the summer. Keeping that coat fresh and trimmed is an essential part of dog grooming. Short haired and medium haired dogs, for example, typically require regular maintenance in this department, whereas long haired dogs need more frequent brushing, but can get away with getting a haircut less often. Most groomers recommend a trim in the summer to keep them cool, and skipping it in the winter when they need their fur to protect them against the cold. Age is also a factor. You should start grooming your puppy at about 10-12 weeks old but let them get used to the basics of grooming first: bath, brushing, and nail trimming; and save the haircut for later. A dog’s first experience being groomed will affect their attitude towards grooming their whole life, so do your best to make it a calm, pleasant experience.
AVOID THE MIDDAY HEAT
Remember that factors such as sun and humidity can make peak sunlight hours during the day feel much hotter than the temperature may suggest. Avoid taking your pup out during the midday heat by going on early morning and late evening walks. Asphalt and sand can become very hot, so be sure to test out the temperature before taking your pup out as the hot surfaces can burn your dog’s paws. By opting for evening walks, you can give the ground time to cool off, making it more comfortable for your pup to walk.
ALWAYS PROVIDE SHADE
Most pups look for cool places to lay when they are feeling too hot, like a tiled bathroom or kitchen floor. If you find yourself outdoors with your pup during peak sunlight hours, it’s essential that you provide a shaded area where your dog can lay and cool off. Whether it be in the form of a tree, a bench, picnic table or even a patio umbrella, your furry friend will get the chance to cool down and get a fresh drink of water.
PROVIDE YOUR PUP WITH SOME FROZEN TREATS
A tasty frozen treat such as frozen broth cubes, frozen yogurt, frozen banana popsicles, and frozen peanut butter can help refresh your warm pup. You can also find dog-friendly iced creams at various pet stores. Just be sure to take those extra calories into account when prepping your pup’s meals!
KNOW THE SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE IN DOGS AND WHAT TO DO
Heatstroke is a serious danger to pups during hot summer days, especially to those with health issues. Take note of the following signs of heatstroke in your dog:
- Excessive panting and salivating
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Clear discomfort
If you witness any of these warning signs, immediately get your pup into a cooler environment and call your veterinarian. Sometimes, many complications from heatstroke only appear several days following the incident. However, immediate veterinary care can prevent further complications and treat any existing ones.