Everyone likes to enjoy hot weather activities – including our furry friends!
Keeping your dog cool and comfortable so that they are safe and happy is vital to dog health.
While some dogs appreciate the heat more than others, all dogs can suffer heatstroke quickly. It is important to prevent this from happening before any signs start appearing.
Some signs of heatstroke in dogs
-Rapid heart rate
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms and you suspect they are suffering from heat stroke, move them out of the heat and cool down their body gradually. Then, be sure to contact your vet immediately.
Keeping cool and comfortable: essential for dog health
These tips will help to prevent any heat-related illnesses and keep the fun going safely. Even with all of these protective measures taken, continue to keep an eye on your dog to ensure they are doing well! This is especially important if they have any known health issues. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
Allow constant access to water
Constant access to water is essential during hot and humid days. If your dog is in an enclosed area or tied out, make sure cool water is within their reach. There are bowls available that help to keep the water cold and pet fountains that cycle the water keeping it fresh and cool.
If you are taking them on a walk, make sure to bring water with you along with a portable pet bowl to give them water periodically. Sometimes parks or trails may have fountains and bowls for use, but consider bringing the items along just in case.
Never leave your dog in a hot car (even if you are planning to return quickly)
Dogs can overheat very quickly. Sometimes you might be tempted to leave them in the car while running into a store or completing a quick errand. You might not expect to take too long. Even with the windows open, it can easily become uncomfortable and then much too hot for a dog.
The best option is to simply never leave your dog behind in a hot car for any amount of time.
Allow constant access to shade
If your dog is in an enclosed area or tied out, be sure that there is a shady area (or the spot being completely in the shade) for them. While it can still be very hot in the shade, this gives them a place out of direct sunlight which is more intense.
In addition to tree shade, typical porches, or other outdoor structures, you can also use an umbrella, tent, purchased dog shade structure, or even DIY a dog shade structure. Even with shade though, breaks in air conditioning may be necessary if temperatures are very high.
Consider purchasing cooling products
There are many products available now that can assist in keeping your dog cool.
Many of these products are available both in stores and online. Some of these products are:
-Cooling dog vests
-Elevated pet beds
-Cooling gel pads
-Cooling collars/neck wraps
-Chilled pet bowls -Cooling dog boots (cools their paws and provides protection from hot surfaces)
-Dog crate fans
-Air conditioning extenders (for your vehicle)
These items can make a huge difference in your dog’s comfort and safety.
Try to allow outdoor activities during cooler times of the day
Early in the morning or in the evening when the sun isn’t so intense are the best times for outdoor activities for dogs. Sometimes it isn’t completely possible to only have them out during these times of day, or you just want them to join in on all of the fun. In that case, just follow all of the necessary steps to ensure their safety and remember that a close eye will be needed especially during the most intense times of the day.
Swimming time (if they like to swim)
Not all dogs like to swim, but if they do, this is a great way for them to keep cool while having fun.
Some swimming options are small baby pools, regular pools, lakes/streams, and oceans. While this is a great way to keep them comfortable, other safety measures such as floating vests and close supervision are highly recommended. Even with all of the fun, periodic breaks from swimming and the sun are important!
Trim the fur and protect from sunburn
For some dogs, especially those with very long and thick fur, consider trimming them once the heat arrives. It already is very hot to humans, so you can imagine how quickly a dog can get very hot under their fur coats.
Their fur can help to protect them from sunburn, however, be sure to protect and watch the exposed areas of their skin like their ears, lips, nose, and any other hairless areas. This can be done by keeping the areas out of direct sunlight or using certain sunscreens. Keep in mind that there are special sunscreens made just for dogs!
Also, along with sunburn, burns on their skin, especially their paws, is also possible. Before walks or any time on a surface, place your hand or bare foot on the surface for ten seconds. If you can’t keep it there, then that is a good indicator that the surface is too hot for your dog to walk or lay on. Dog booties, as mentioned above, can help with this by protecting and cooling their paws.
Overall, consider your own feelings when deciding how hot or uncomfortable your dog may be in situations. For example, if you feel like you need a break or need some water, your dog probably feels the same way!
Some other hazards to watch out for during outdoor activities are fires/barbeques, fireworks fear, water with chemicals, and parasites.
Most can agree that fun is definitely important in the nice, hot weather.
Dog health is equally important though, so keep these tips in mind through all of your outdoor activities!
Being safe and happy will help to ensure that you have the best time yet with your best friend.
Post created by Ashley