As a dog owner, summer is a great time. The weather is perfect for having lots of fun with your dog outside. You can take them to the park, play with them in the back garden or even just take them for walks around the block. As fun as it is, that rise in temperature and humidity means that you need to take special care of your dog, not just outside the home, but inside too. Your canine buddy can be quite sensitive to the heat. That's why we've put together this post with some great tips you can follow when the heat rises, even if it is only a little in your area.
Provide Lots of Shade and Water
Make sure you do not leave your four-legged best friend out in the heat along for too long While he is out though, you need to make sure he has access to shaded areas and that there is a limitless supply of cool, fresh water for him or her to drink and use to keep cool. It may even be a good idea to add ice cubes to it, if possible. As trees allow air to flow through, they can actually be better than doghouses for shading because they tend to trap heat and make it feel even worse for your pooch.
Invest in a Kiddie and Doggie Paddling Pool
On the subject of making sure your dog has access to plenty of water, you should also consider investing in a place for your dog to play when it's hot. Dog paddling pools are ideal and it's a great way to keep them cool, especially if they are a fan of water.
Make Treats that will Help your Dog Cool Down
You need to also help your dog cool down from the inside as well as cooling down things for him or her on the outside. A fun treat for your pooch during the heat in summer is ice pops. Simply prepare ice cubes like you normally would be with a nice doggie treat that you know your furry friend will appreciate.
Regularly Check the Humidity Levels
It's not just the higher temperatures that you need to be weary of with your dog, you need to also think about the humidity levels too. Your dog may find it harder to pant sufficiently to keep cool when there is too much moisture in the air. This can also cause their temperature to rise, which can, in turn, cause him or her to suffer from heatstroke. So, when the humidity levels are high, it might be best to limit the amount of exercise your dog has and keep them inside, if possible.
Check the Pavements and Tarmac
Before you take your dog out for a walk, you should always check the temperature of the surfaces they will be walking on. Tarmac and pavements made from other materials can get very hot in summer, and the best way to test it is to touch it. If it is too hot for your hands, it will be too hot for the sensitive pads of your dog's paws. Even if it is cool enough for them to walk, you need to make sure you stay off asphalt surfaces as much as possible and walk on the grass.
Take Extra Care with Dogs that are At Risk
There are some dog breeds you need to take extra care within warmer temperatures. Pugs, Bulldogs and other snub-nosed animals, for instance, have much smaller airways than other breeds and have to work harder to release adequate levels of heat as they pant. Overweight and older dogs and any with respiratory or heart problems are also more prone to getting heatstroke.
Regularly Groom Your Long-haired Dog
If you have a dog with a coat consisting of especially long hair, you need to groom him or her regularly to get rid of any tangles and matted areas. This will help your dog stay cool in those hotter temperatures. However, if you are planning on clipping or shaving their coat, you need to speak to your groomer or vet. Often the additional layers of fur dogs have is there to keep them warm during winter, but also ensures they stay cool during summer.
Make Sure Your House Is Cool Enough
When your dog is in the house, especially if they are going to be unsupervised, it is essential that you make sure the place is cool enough. Keep the air conditioner on, close the curtains. Don't have an air conditioner? Invest in a fan or simply just leave some windows open, even a small crack. It could also be a good idea to see if a cooling mat or vest would suit your dog.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
Don't make the foolish mistake that some dog owners make and leave him or her in the car for even just a few minutes. Even on those days that are overcast and not especially hot, a closed car can become very hot, very quickly. So, if you have to go out in the hot weather, make sure your dog can accompany you wherever you go or simply leave him or her at home.
Monitor Them While They Exercise
You need to be careful to limit just how much and when you actually exercise your dog when it's humid and hot. Try to walk them at cooler times in the day, such as the evening or early morning and always make sure you have enough water for you both.
Visit Your Local Vet
Make sure your dog has a full bill of health, particularly during those summer months. Parvovirus spreads when the weather is hot, and as your dog is more likely to be outside than inside, they are more likely to come into contact with animals that are carrying rabies, so make sure your dog's injections are up-to-date. Summer is also the time when fleas are most active, so make sure they are fully protected during this time and it is not possible for them to get any nasty viruses or diseases.