Summer is here and swimming, camping, and spending time outdoors with family and friends is on many people’s minds. What about your dog, though? It’s hot outside, and special care and attention needs to be given to him to keep him cool and comfortable.
Water is a Must
You need to give your canine lots of water this summer to assure that he stays hydrated and cool. Keep a dish of cool water in a corner of your home for your dog constantly to have or, if your dog lives or often is outside, make sure you fill his bowl up about a couple of times a day. Also, place your doggy’s bowl in the shade. It will keep the water cooler and encourage your dog to stay in the shade, too. If you notice your dog spilling his water dish, buy a heavy-duty water bowl. Without water, your dog could quickly die.
Provide Lots of Shade
It can get very hot for your dog outside, so make sure that he has constant shade. Remember, if part of your yard is shaded at a certain time of the day, it might not be a few hours later when the sun moves. This can be especially dangerous for dogs who live outdoors. Sure, dog houses are shady, but it can get super hot in such a small space. Put up a beach umbrella or small canopy for your dog to lounge under. You certainly don’t want your dog to get overheated!
Your Dog’s Coat
Wow! you think. My dog must be really hot wearing his fur coat! Yes, it can get hot under there, but there are other reasons that we dogs were given such magnificent fur. It actually helps us not get sunburned! So, with that in mind, always consult your veterinarian before having your dog’s fur shaved. Dogs such as Poodles, however, will always need a nice summer cut to keep them cool, as they have real hair that continually grows.
The Swimming Pool
Swimming is fun and a great way to cool off for your dog, but remember to never let your dog swim alone. The edges of the pool are slippery, and your dog might not be able to get out. Make sure your dog doesn’t drink the pool water either. Also, if your pool is by a high surface, make sure your dog can’t jump in. Once, when my humans’ pool was by the porch and I was very young, I jumped in. Thankfully, one of my humans saw me and helped me out. That was very scary!
Hot Feet, Hot Feet!
Before you bring your dog on a walk, feel the asphalt. Does it burn your hand? Imagine walking on that in your bare feet with little to no protection. Ouch! This can be the way your dog’s feet feel. The steamy asphalt can seriously burn his paw pads, so always check to see if you would like to walk on it. Another option is walking your dog in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler outside or on the grass.
Another tip: When walking your dog, take frequent breaks to give your dog some time to cool down. Carry some water with you and offer it to your dog.
Please Don’t Leave Me in the Car!!
Please, please don’t ever leave your dog in the car without any air conditioning! Don’t even do it when the weather is in the 70s or with the windows rolled all of the way down. The car, you see, acts like a refrigerator, only it traps in the heat. It is a horribly cruel way for a dog to die, so please leave your dog behind when you have errands to run and he can’t come with you.
Keep Puppies and Seniors Inside
Very young puppies and older dogs cannot take the heat as well as young adult dogs, so don’t leave them outside for very long Also, dogs with flat noses (i.e. Bulldogs, Boxers, etc.) have a harder time breathing and should never be in the heat for long periods.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool
- A kiddie swimming pool, sprinkler, water hose, lake, or the ocean are great ways for your dog to splash around in the water and cool off. If your dog is a little leery of entering the water, throw a few dog biscuits in for him to go after.
- “Pupsicles” are basically popsicles made for dogs. Your dog might like licking ice anyway but add a little flavoring (like chicken or vegetable broth), and you have a real treat! Here’s a tip, though: have your dog devour this treat on your porch or lawn. It can get really messy once it starts to melt!