During the hottest days of the summer it is important to keep an eye on your dog to ensure that he or she is not becoming overheated. There are many important things that you can do to keep your dog safe and avoid heatstroke or other injury. Your dog relies on you for his or her safety and care, so it is up to you to ensure that the dog is looked after. Here are some great ways to keep your dog cool in summer:
Feel the Pavement
If you plan to take your dog out for a walk, feel the pavement. If it is too hot to the touch or if you would not walk on it with bare feet then it is too hot for your dog’s paws. You can walk on dirt or grass or look for and purchase booties for your dog to prevent burnt paws.
Make Cold Snacks
You can create a broth and then freeze it into ice cube trays to create a cool treat that will help to chill your dog off from the inside out. You can also fill a chew toy with peanut butter or canned dog food and place it in the freezer to freeze the contents.
If you must go out for a walk then try to do it first thing in the morning or later in the evening when things have cooled down. Always carry water with you and a small container to pour it into so that your dog can access it.
Water and Shade – Two Important Resources
Your dog needs access to shady cool spots away from the sun. Big trees that offer shade are perfect and areas underneath sundecks with rock or gravel are cool places that offer respite. Small and inexpensive wading pools are perfect for allowing your dog to get a little bit wet and cool down on the hottest days.
Watch the Humidity
When the air is saturated with moisture it can make it difficult for your dog to cool off by panting. If panting is not effective the dog’s temperature can go up and may cause heatstroke. Keep your dog in and let him rest for the day.
Wrap Your Dog
If you have a dog with a short nose such as a bulldog or a pug they cannot pant as effectively as a dog with a longer nose. If they become overheated you can wrap them in cool, damp towels to reduce their body temperature.
Groom Your Dog
If your dog has long hair it is important to groom him regularly so that you get rid of tangles and prevent mats. A dog with long hair is kept cool by his long hair although you may think the opposite. If you cut your dog’s hair too short in the hot summer months you may put him at risk of sunburn.
Watch your Dog for Overheating
If your dog gets too hot he may be at serious risk for heatstroke he will exhibit these symptoms:
- Fast heartbeat
- Shallow breathing
- Dark coloured tongue and gums
- Heavy panting
- Dizziness / disorientation
- Heavy drooling
If you see any of these signs take your dog to the vet immediately.
Paws, Claws & Tails