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Summer is truly here and with it comes all the warm and sunny days. There are people who love the heat while others may struggle and not always feel that comfortable or healthy during such days. It is important to make sure that our pets get through the hot days as comfortably as possible too. They say that it is not as easy for dogs to cool their bodies as it is for us humans.
Here are some ideas on how to help your dogs get through the warm summer days.
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Offer Water At All Times
Besides having water available in your home at all times, think about bringing refreshing water with you on the go. Pet stores are full of practical products that combine a water bottle and a bowl that are easy to carry with you. You can also shop my personalizable dog breed design water bottles in my Zazzle store. Or simply grab along a lightweight bowl together with some water. Just make sure your dog has access to water when he needs it. It is also a good idea to be aware of the signs of dehydration in dogs and what action to take in case you suspect it.
Offer Cool Treats And Ice Cubes
Offer your dog a cool and pet safe treat. You could make own dog treats by freezing some yummy food you know your dog likes and that is safe for him to eat. Or maybe your dog is like mine and enjoys a simple ice cube every once in a while. Yup, even though my dogs are no longer teething puppies, they still like ice cubes. You could also place some ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl to keep it cooler longer. Just make sure to keep an eye on your dog as he eats his treat or ice cube. You could even make your pup a fresh smoothie instead.
Cool Your Home
Homes that do not have an A/C installed can get pretty hot during a warm summer day. The internet is full of tips and tricks on how to cool your home. For example, it is a good idea to keep your curtains down on the sunny side of your home during the day to not let in so much sunlight and thus heat. You could even consider investing in some blackout curtains that are said to keep the heat out better than regular curtains.
Get A Fan
In the topic of cooling your home, indoor fans can be handy on a hot day. There are days when it feels like these fans just move the hot air around, but they can also help make you and your pet feel a bit better with their breeze. Think about placing a fan so that it points towards the floor as an opportunity for your pet to lie under the breeze.
While some fans are rather inexpensive, you might also want to consider a slightly more expensive cooling product such as a portable A/C. These products are not permanently installed in the home, so even renters may be able to enjoy the lovely cool air they bring! However, they are often very noisy and can produce a higher electricity bill.
Be Careful With Exercise
On a really hot day it is a good idea to schedule your longer walks properly. Avoid the burning mid-day sun and walk early in the morning or late in the evening when the weather is cooler. Choose a route that is in shade. Make sure to take enough breaks and to set the phase accordingly too. Also check that the ground isn’t too hot for your dog’s paws to walk on. In such case, your dog might benefit from booties.
Know that you might have to reduce your dog’s intense exercise. Make sure that he doesn’t over extend himself and possibly get a heatstroke. If your dog’s typical exercise routine for the day is out of the question due to the heat, maybe you could stimulate your dog’s mind instead with different kind of games and tricks.
Wet Your Dogs Paws
Talking about paws, did you know that dogs sweat through their paw pads? Well, you could try wetting your dogs paws to help him feel a bit more comfortable. Wetting your dogs tummy can also make him feel a bit more comfortable.
Offer A Cool Place To Lie On
Some dogs may like to lie on a cool tile floor or in a hole they dug. In case you don’t have tile floors or a place for him to dig a hole, there are a few other ideas for a cool place for your dog to lie on. You could, for example, offer a cool towel. Either freeze the towel in the freezer or dampen it with cold water. Just make sure you place the moist towel on the kind of floor / material that can handle it and won’t end up harming your home. You could always place the towel in a shaded spot outside too.
Another idea is to purchase a cooling mat from a pet store. I haven’t tried these personally, so I can’t say how well they work. Never let your dog chew the mat and possibly have him swallow harmful parts.
Let Your Dog Play With Water
Here are some ideas:
- Take your dog to the dog beach, but make sure that the sand is not too hot for his paws. If your dog is not a good swimmer, consider getting him a life vest.
- Do you have your own pool? Maybe let your dog take a dip in your pool.
- Get a shallow doggie pool, add some water and place it in a shaded spot.
- Do you have sprinklers on your yard? Could your dog play with the sprinkler water?
Always monitor your pet to make sure he is safe. If your dog shows signs of heatstroke, do not allow him in very cold water. The big temperature difference could be more harmful than good and actually worsen the heatstroke. Also never leave your dog alone in the pool and know the signs of water intoxication.
Offer Some Shade
Whenever you are outdoors with your dog, make sure that he has access to shade. If you can’t find a naturally shaded spot under a tree for example, you might want to bring along a beach umbrella or some kind of tent that is meant to offer shade.
Never Leave Your Dog In A Car
Please never leave your dog in a parked car, especially during summer. Cars can get very hot and kill a pet within minutes! Please also do know that by parking in shade or leaving the car windows slightly open does not help on a hot summer day!
Research the signs and symptoms of a heatstroke and dehydration in dogs to learn what to do in case either condition occurs. In either case contact your veterinarian immediately. Be sure to have your vet’s phone number in your phone in case of an emergency on the go.
Not all dogs benefit from having their fur shaved for the summer. Learn if shaving your dog specifically is a good idea or if it might actually do more harm than good.
Know the facts about your dog such as his breed to understand if he is in a higher risk of suffering a heatstroke.
Make sure your dog has water available at all times and try to keep your home a cool place for him to be at. Always monitor your dog to make sure he is safe. Whenever outdoors, offer your dog shaded areas to lounge in and schedule your walks for the coolest times of the day. Know the signs of dehydration, heatstroke and water intoxication. Be informed on how to act, if you suspect any of the previous conditions. In case of an emergency, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Enjoy the summer with your dog, but stay safe!
This article was originally posted in my old blog on June 29th, 2020