Summer is around the corner and with it comes intense heat and bright sunlight. While many dogs leap at the chance to be outside in nice weather, the unrelenting heat can take its toll on our canine pals. Since they can't stop themselves from enjoying the outdoors, it is up to us to make sure they stay cool during the dog days of summer. Click to read more about ways to keep your dog feeling cool as a cucumber while the temperatures continue to rise.
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GO SWIMMING WITH YOUR DOG
It's no secret that many dog breeds love water. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of that. Take your dog swimming as often as possible or set up a kiddie pool in the shade in the backyard. Even if it is not a strong swimmer, your pooch will love the chance to get wet and splash in the water.
WATER, WATER, WATER
This should come as no surprise, but hydration is key to keeping your dog happy and healthy. This is especially important during the summer months when temperatures can skyrocket. Ensure that your dog has a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Have water in multiple locations if you have the space, and make sure that the water dishes are in a shaded location. Change water frequently and add ice cubes to entice your dog to stay hydrated.
EXERCISE EARLY IN THE MORNING AND LATE AT NIGHT
The middle of the day, when the sun is at its peak, is the worst time to head out with your pooch. Since you should be walking your dog daily for 30 to 60 minutes, morning and night are the perfect times to do it. They are the coolest times of the day, and your dog will be more comfortable outside at these off-peak hours.
PROTECT YOUR DOG'S PAWS
Your dog's paws are very sensitive, especially to heat. Be considerate of this fact when taking it outside to walk on hot asphalt and cement, because canines absorb and release heat through their paws. Putting doggy boots on your dogs can protect its sensitive feet and isolate heat to keep your dog feeling cooler.
Contrary to popular belief, you should not shave off your dog's fur in an effort to cool it down. Its fur actually helps to regulate your dog's body temperature. If the hair is matted and unkempt, then it becomes a hindrance. Keep your dog's fur healthy with regular brushing. You can trim your dog's longer hair if you feel comfortable doing so.
WATCH OUT FOR HEATSTROKE
Know the signs of heatstroke in dogs. The unbearable heat of summer can quickly become too much for your dog, especially if it is outside a lot. Be vigilant about your canine's health to prevent heatstroke. An obvious indicator is excessive, rapid panting. Dogs pant to cool themselves down, but it is a sign of heatstroke when the panting becomes heavy and labored. Other signs can include vomiting, dehydration and collapsing. If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move indoors and pour cool (not cold) water over its body. Slowly give it cool water to drink and, as always, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR
We know that dogs love car rides, but it is incredibly dangerous to leave a dog trapped in a hot car. Even if the windows are cracked and you're only running into the store for five minutes, it is too risky to leave your dog alone in the car. Summer temperatures escalate rapidly, and the car can become an oven to your canine in a matter of minutes. If you know that there is a chance of you leaving your dog alone in the car while you are out and about, make the decision to leave your dog at home. It may be disappointed to miss out on a car ride, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
PROVIDE "COOL" SPACE
During the hot summer months, there is no greater feeling than laying on a cool surface in the shade. Make sure that your dog has access to such a spot on any tiled or hardwood floor in your home. Most likely, your pooch is laying there already, trying to stay cool. Consider getting a cooling dog bed, often filled with gel or water, on which your dog can lay.
Next: Keep Your Dog Safe and Happy at the Beach
GET YOUR DOG WET
Be creative and find fun ways to cool your dog down. Turn on the sprinkler for it to run through or spray your dog with the hose. Set up a fan with a bowl of ice cubes in front of it. Lay a wet towel on the ground for your dog to lay on. Spritz your pooch with a water bottle, taking care to spray the paws and stomach since dogs' heat travels from the bottom up. Experiment with ways to keep it cool during the hot summer months. Your dog will appreciate your efforts, no matter what you do.