Keeping Your Canine Cool This Summer

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”  – Dean Koontz

 

Whoah! The weather is so hot and you’re sweating. You look at your dog and see that he’s having a hard time as well. Think about it, if you’re all hot and sweaty while wearing little clothing then your dog must be feeling worse with all his fur. A dog’s average temperature is a few degrees warmer than humans. So if you feel hot, you’re dog is feeling hotter. 

Dogs are prone to heatstroke when the weather is hot and heatstroke can be deadly. Here are a few tips on how to keep your canine cool, comfortable, and happy this summer: 

Shady areas 

Let your dog stay in shady areas to keep away from the sun. Let him rest under a tree or set a covered space for him in the backyard. If he is staying indoors, you can leave the AC on or open the windows so fresh air can come in. You can also leave the fan open, if you have one, or buy him a cooling mat.   

Lots of water 

Provide him with lots of fresh water to drink. Use ice cubes to cool the water. Use several large water containers that he can easily access and place them in strategic places. Open the garden sprinkler and let him have fun in the yard as he cools down. Letting him splash about in a kiddie pool is also a good idea. 

 

Keep away from the midday heat

Midday is usually the hottest time of the day, especially during summer. Avoid taking walks around this time of the day to prevent your dog from suffering dehydration or heatstroke. Schedule your walks early in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

Watch where you walk

Before going out, check if the ground is hot. A hot ground can do so much damage to your dog’s paw pads. Again, take walks in the mornings or late afternoons. Walk on grassy or shaded areas. You can also try to make your pet wear booties to ensure that his paws are protected. 

 

Don’t leave your pet inside a parked car 

The temperature inside a car can rapidly go up to critical levels during summer and leaving you pooch inside can be fatal. Bring him along if you have to go out or leave someone with him while the AC is on. Just leave him at home if the two options are not possible. 

Prepare cool snacks 

Eating ice cream and other cold snacks help us feel cool from the inside out. The same goes for dogs. Give them pet popsicles or juice bars to help them cool down. There are many DIY frozen dog treats you can find on the internet. 

 

Don’t forget the sunscreen 

Dogs can get sunburned too. So always have the sunscreen ready and apply it on your dog before you go out. Protect your pet from the discomfort caused by sunburn by using a sunscreen specially made for dogs. Most pet shops carry this type of sunscreen. 

Grooming 

Removing matted hair and tangles helps in keeping him cool. Don’t shave your dog’s coat, though. His coat helps him stay warm during winter and keeps him cool during summer. The coat also helps in preventing sunburn. 

 

More water

Always bring water for your pet whenever you go out. Make a few stops or breaks as you go along to let him have a rest. 

Watch out for signs of heatstroke 

Your pet won’t tell you that he’s not feeling well. Be on the lookout for signs such as:

  • Excessive drooling or panting 
  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Throwing up
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures

 

Always remember that if it’s too hot for you then it’s hotter for your pet. Spend super hot days indoors with an air conditioner. If you notice that your dog is overheating, help him to cool down and take him to the vet. 

You might also want to read Understanding What Your Cat is Telling You and Know What Your Dog Is Trying to Tell You

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