Who doesn’t love summer time?! The barbecues, the beach, the long days, the vacations, and most importantly, the extra time with your pooch! While most people love the warmth of the summer, those day that are brutally hot for people are just as tough on the dogs. Here are some tips and tricks to keeping your dog cool (and safe!) during those scorching days.
First, some safety precautions. If it is hot outside, there are some very important safety tips to follow for your dog. Be cautious of the temperature of the ground. It only takes a few seconds to start burning the pads on a dog’s feet. If you cannot set the back of your hand firmly against the ground for more than a few seconds, then it is too hot to walk you dog on that surface. Should you absolutely need to walk during peat heat hours, invest in some booties to help protect those precious toes! You can also walk your dog in the late evening or early morning before the ground has a chance to heat up too much. Also, do not take your dog out with you to run errands. The temperature can rise very quickly in a car, even with the windows cracked, and heat stroke can occur quickly. There has also been a vigilante trend recently of people trying to break dogs out of locked cars, and that can be very dangerous for your pup.
Swimming is a great way to help cool your pup down and get them some safe exercise on those hot days. When first teaching a dog to swim, using a life jacket can help them learn proper form and decrease the panic some dogs feel when they realize their feet cannot touch the ground. Not everyone has access to a pool, so using a kiddie pool (available at most hardware stores) is another great option, and a great way to introduce your dog to the fun of water play. Just be sure to dump out the water after each use, because bacteria is often harbored in stagnant water.
“Not everyone has access to a pool, so using a kiddie pool (available at most hardware stores) is another great option, and a great way to introduce your dog to the fun of water play.”
There is also a variety of cooling vests and mats available that will help provide your dog some comfort during those hot days. These can help to decrease the temperature of the dog, and they are extremely helpful for dogs that often don’t do well in hotter climates – dogs with very thick, dense coats or bulldogs for example. You can purchase these very readily through Amazon. I also use frozen treats to give my dogs positive activities in the house. A Kong stuffed with banana and peanut butter is definitely a favorite in my house!
Sometimes, overheating happens even when all the correct precautions are taken. Knowing the signs of heat stroke can be life saving knowledge to have for your dog. Excessive panting, heavy breathing, and drooling are very common in dogs that are overheating as they are trying to regulate their body temperature. A fast and irregular heartbeat is also a sign that your dog is overheating. This, as well as lethargy, diarrhea, stumbling around, or other symptoms of discomfort are signs that your dog has heat stroke and a vet should be contacted immediately.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read Adopting A Special Needs Puppy here.
The weather warnings in the Bay Area and across the U.S. have changed our habits. How have you and your pup been beating the heat? Share below!