How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Cool in the Summer Heat
As summer truly gets underway, temperatures begin to skyrocket all over the country. Unfortunately, extreme heat can often cause severe discomfort for dogs even more than it does for humans. In order to keep your canine friend safe this summer, you need to try to keep him cool. Here are several tips for helping your dog beat the heat.
Provide Plenty Of Water
Hydration is your dog’s number one defense against hot weather. It’s important to keep your pup’s water bowl full throughout the year, but it becomes even more essential when Fido needs fluids to cool down. Make sure to leave the dish in a shady spot so that the water doesn’t heat up too much, and refill you dog’s water supply every few hours to keep it fresh.
Keep Dogs Indoors During Extreme Weather
Many dog owners leave their pets outside all day or use doggy doors to let their dogs decide when they want to go in and out. When it’s extremely hot outside, however, you should try to keep your pup indoors as much as possible. Let your dog out for bathroom breaks, but then call her back in almost immediately so that she doesn’t start to overheat.
Don’t Over Exercise
Some days are just going to be too hot for you to safely take your dog for his usual walk. In general, you should try to limit the amount of exercise your pup gets in the extreme heat. Instead, try playing fetch in the house, or wait until the sun has set and the temperatures have started to drop before you take Rover for his daily walk.
Proper Grooming Is Essential
It makes sense why so many dog owners opt to shave their pets’ fur coats when temperatures start to rise–after all, you wouldn’t want to wear a heavy fur coat in the middle of a heat wave. In reality, however, a dog’s fur can provide protection against the heat by being a natural insulator. Just as the fur keeps your pup warm in the cold winter, it can also keep her cool in the summer. Rather than getting Lassie shaved, you should just opt for a quick haircut to remove mats and knots.
Swimming Is Great Exercise During Hot Weather
Most dogs love to splash around in the water, and taking your pup for a swim can be a great way to help him beat the heat. Whether you head to the local lake or just fill up a kiddie pool in your backyard, giving your dog a place to romp around and get wet provides a natural way to get cool.
Use Air Conditioning Instead Of Fans
You might be trying to use less air conditioning at home in order to lower your electric bill, but you should know that your pup won’t benefit from the use of fans. The moving air effect that cools you down when you sit in front of a fan won’t help your dog feel the heat any less. If you really can’t use A/C, you should make sure that you keep your home as cool as possible naturally by closing blinds and curtains during the day and then opening windows at night.
You probably know that eating ice cream or a popsicle on a hot day feels heavenly, so why not feed your dog a cool treat that’s made just for him? You can try freezing peanut butter, yogurt, or even chicken broth (opt for the low-sodium variety), and then feed your pup a popsicle that will cool him off while keeping him healthy.
NEVER Leave Your Dog in the Car
One of the most important tips for any pet owner is that you should never leave your furry friend in the car on a hot day. Even with the windows cracked, your car’s interior can quickly reach temperatures up to 30 degrees hotter than those outside. If you want to bring your dog on a drive with you during the summer, make sure that she is going to be welcome at every store you might go to. If you can’t be sure, err on the side of caution and leave Fluffy at home.
No matter how you choose to keep your dog cool, the most important step you can take is to watch for any signs that Rover is getting overheated. If your pet starts acting strange or lethargic, take him to the vet immediately. Remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry–especially when it comes to keeping your canine pal healthy.