With the warmer weather here to stay, it’s important to take care of your family during a heat wave. Between jumping into cool water or making sure the kids are staying hydrated, you probably understand how to stay safe and comfortable all season long.
However, what about other family members that may be a lot more sensitive to extreme weather changes than yourself? Your pets, for example, can’t turn on the A/C or open the refrigerator for a drink. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to them in the hot weather, especially your dog.
If you’re hot inside the home, chances are your canine friend is, too. However, they don’t have to suffer. In fact, there are a variety of cooling supplies for your dog that can help them beat the heat. A cooling bed can help them relax during those humid nights, and something like a neck wrap can be stored in the freezer and placed over your dog’s collar during the day. A floor fan can also help bigger dogs with thicker fur feel a bit more at ease, too.
Dogs need exercise just like the rest of us, however, if you’re going to take them out to play or walk, try to do so earlier or later in the day. The sun is less strong during the morning and evening hours, so the temperatures will be much more bearable for both of you.
Be careful of hot surfaces, too. You may have shoes on, but a dog’s paws are sensitive to asphalt that’s been heating in the sun all day. A hike through the woods may be the best option on a hot summer day, the trees provide shade and dirt and grass won’t burn sensitive paw pads. However, if you can’t avoid surfaces such as asphalt or tar, consider buying doggie boots so they don’t get hurt.
Don’t forget about water. You might remember to keep yourself hydrated, but what about your dog? Dogs can get dehydrated just as easily, especially when it’s hot outside. Make sure your dog has fresh water every day and take extra water with you when your dog travels with you. So, consider purchasing a portable water bowl for convenience.
Additionally, if your dog does become dehydrated they may exhibit signs of lethargy or weakness, have dry gums or dry nose, sunken eyes, and their skin may lose elasticity. Panting isn’t necessarily a sign of dehydration, but rather their body is trying to cool down. If your dog is excessively panting try to get them into a cooler area, give them plenty of water, and have them relax for a bit.
Animals typically shed when the seasons change, that’s why it’s important to groom them weekly or bi-weekly when it gets warmer. Not only will this keep your furniture cleaner, but your dog will feel happier with it’s excess fur gone.
If your dog has long hair taking them to a professional groomer to get their fur trimmed or shaved will make a huge difference in how they feel. Fur traps heat and if they’re in the sun all day they’ll feel hotter quicker, so make sure to take your dogs comfort into consideration this summer.
Be a Responsible Pet Owner
Never leave your dog alone in a car during the summer. Even if you have the window cracked and even if it’s a nice 70 degrees out, your car can still get very hot. Dogs can’t open a car door like we can if it’s too hot inside. If you plan to leave your dog in the car for hours while you run errands, keep them home! Don’t cause your dog to get sick or hyperventilate because you’ve brought them along for the ride. Be responsible and consider your dog’s comfort each and every time.
So, take your dog to the lake, relax under the shade, and keep extra water by your side at all times. Have fun with your canine this summer, but of course don’t forget to keep them cool! How do you help keep your dog cool in the summertime? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.