Summer is officially here, time to head to the dog beach right? If you are experiencing hot weather and extreme humidity like we are, chances are it takes about .25 seconds for the sweat to start forming on the back of your neck. Although a nice beach or pool day might be in order, if you plan on spending significant time outside with your furry fam, you might want to consider a few things first.
Here are some tips on how you can keep your pet cool during these hot Summer months!
1. Know Your Pup
We have touched base before on how important it is to understand your pet. But in this case, it is actually important to know about them as a breed. What type of coat does your dog have? Is it short, double coated, or not? These are all factors into how well your dog is able to deal with the heat. Do some research and see where your dog’s breed(s) originated from and get an understanding of what the breed(s) may have been used for. If your dog is double coated, DO NOT SHAVE THEM. The double coat allows for your dog to stay cooler by trapping cool air near the skin. If you shave them you are actually making them warmer! If you do have a dog not well suited for warmer weather, try to keep them indoors during the warmest hours of the day and keep outside exercise limited. Here is a list of dogs that are poorly suited for warmer weather:
2. Pay Attention to Your Environment
Most of the time when we take our dogs on walks we use the sidewalk or even the street. The sun is heating those surfaces every moment of the day, so be aware. Rule of thumb is if you can’t hold your hand on the cement for about 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your pal. Try walking them in the grass or look into protective products for the pads of their feet, which can easily get burned. Listen to your animal, if they are showing you that they are getting hot quickly, shorten your walk and don’t push them too hard. If you are driving to the store and bring your pup with you for a ride, do NOT leave them in the car alone with no way to get proper air. The temperature in your car could raise to 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. That is a life altering state for your dog and could possibly be fatal. Don’t risk it and be smart with your pet’s life, they trust you with it.
3. Look for Signs of Overheating
It is important to take preventive measures, but also to know the signs that your dog may need help or possibly veterinary assistance. Even in shaded areas outside our dogs can get overheated, so keep an eye out and take action if you notice a few of these signs. Heavy Panting is a strong signal that your dog is working hard to cool down. Because dogs don’t sweat like us, this is their way of cooling their bodies. If your dog has excessive drooling it could indicate that your dog is having a difficult time cooling off. Extreme lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea can be indicators, as well as an increased heartbeat. Watch to see if your dog is laying down a lot or if it looks like they might be struggling to move. There will be signs displayed, and knowing what they are could make a big difference by allowing you to act of them.
4. Help Them Cool Down
Besides being aware and knowing when to get help for your dog, there are other things you can do to help them cool down during the hot months. You could always go to a local store and buy a kiddie pool to fill up and let your pup splash around. Make sure to give them lots of water throughout the day, and even ice cubes to give them a cool treat to chew on. There are a couple of different ways to tie up a water bottle to your hose and create a fun pet sprinkler when you want to play outside with your pup as well. Check these tips out. Make use of your indoor time and take your dog for a walk when it is cooler out if you can. Get creative; there are many different ways to have safe, cool fun with your animal!
It’s important to educate yourself on ways to keep your animal safe. If you take the right precautions, your pup should have a high chance of never having to deal with heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Remember to understand your dog’s breed characteristics, such as knowing that if your pup has a shorter nose, he will have a harder time in the heat. During the midday of summer months, it is usually a good idea to shorten your daily walks to avoid overworking your dog.