It’s finally summer and that means popsicles, pool time and of course, spending time outdoors with your pup. Here are 8 tips to ensure that your dog stays cool this season.
Don’t leave your dog in the car
It’s never a good idea to leave your dog in the car while you ‘quickly’ run into the supermarket. It can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes on an 85-degree day, and that’s with the windows cracked! Let your pup tag along when you’re heading to a dog-friendly establishment but otherwise, leave your pooch at home with its favorite chew toy.
Turn up the AC
If you leave your pup behind, don’t forget to set your thermostat at a cool temperature. Close the drapes to block out the sun and if you don’t have air conditioning, leave the windows open and turn on a fan. As your pooch is watching you through the window as you pull out of the driveway, your guilt will lessen as you know that Fido is comfortable and safe. If the guilt really kicks in, consider dropping your pooch off at doggy daycare while you’re gone.
Check the time
Plan to play or walk outside during the cooler parts of the day such as mornings and evenings. Keep your eye on humidity levels, too. When the air is full of moisture, it is more difficult for your dog to cool down.
Test the pavement
Before you grab the leash, head outside to test the pavement to ensure that it’s safe for your pooch. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog. Avoid the hot pavement and walk on the grass or use booties to protect your furry fellow’s paws.
Bring a collapsible water dish to let your dog lap up some liquid along your evening stroll at the park. If you’re at home, add ice cubes to your dog’s bowl to keep the water cool. Homemade frozen ‘pupsicles’ are the perfect summer treats that your dog will drool over.
Take a break
Give your four-legged friend plenty of opportunity to recover in the shade. An enclosed area, such as a doghouse, traps the heat and doesn’t allow for adequate air flow. Lie down under a tree with your dog and let the breeze cool you both down. Offer your pooch an ice pack or cool towel to lie on or set up a kiddie pool or sprinkler for some summer splashes.
Groom your pet
Getting rid of mats and tangles helps your furry friend stay cool but before you reach for the razor, ask your veterinarian for advice. Depending on the breed, that fluffy fur coat might actually help cool your pet down.
Pay attention to your pooch
Watch out for signs of dehydration or heat stroke. Heat stroke symptoms are:
- Heavy panting and drooling
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excess salivation and thickened saliva
- Fatigue or weakness
- Muscle tremors
- Dark or red gums and tongue
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to a veterinary clinic or hospital immediately. Take extra precautions if you have a short-nosed pet like a pug or bulldog as their tiny airways make it difficult to release heat when they pant. Overweight dogs or pups with heart issues or breathing problems can also be easily affected by the sun’s rays.
Winter is finally over which means your pup is probably clawing at the backdoor, anxious for some fun in the sun. With the summer heat rising, keep an eye on your pooch and take measures to keep your furry fellow safe and cool.