Hot summer days are not just uncomfortable for you but even more so for your dog. However, there are certain things you can do to make their time a lot easier. The following tips can be used:
- Constant access to water: This may seem fairly obvious but, is a very important point. If your dog finishes the bowl quickly you may want to get a bigger bowl. Also, make sure the bowl is checked regularly and filled when low. Adding ice is also a good option.
- Limit exercise on a hot day: All dogs need exercise but, you may want to adjust the duration and intensity according to the current temperature. If it is very hot then you may want to limit walks to the early morning or evening when it is cooler. You should be especially careful if your dog has white ears because they are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed dogs as they have difficulty breathing. Tar roads get very hot and can burn your dog’s paws so, try to stick to grass if possible. Always remember to keep water on hand to keep your dog from dehydrating.
- Provide somewhere to get wet: This can help your dog extensively so, try to provide a paddle pool that your dog can jump into to cool off. Sprinklers can also be a great option. Just remember to keep an eye on the depth so that there is not risk of drowning. Your dog’s paws should be able to touch the bottom with their head above the water level.
- Keep your dog indoors if possible: If you are at home, let your dog spend the hottest days indoors. If you have air-conditioning, you may want to leave it on. Most dogs show signs of overheating between 27.22 and 29.44 degrees Celsius. If temperatures are likely to be higher than this then you may want to keep your dogs indoors.
- Have a groomer clip your dog’s fur: If your dog has long or thick fur this is very helpful. Just remember that the fur may take a long time to grow back to its previous condition.
- Never leave your dog in a parked car: This is incredibly dangerous as heat levels rise very fast in cars and can kill your dog. To help your dog when travelling, place the air conditioner below 23.88 degrees Celsius or keep your windows open in the car to help keep your dog cool.
- Check your dog regularly: On hot days you should also keep an eye on your dog’s condition. If anything seems out of place, such as excessive panting, then you should contact your vet immediately.
- Place wet towels on their feet: Placing a cool and wet towel over your dog’s paws can be a great way to cool them down. Place it under the front and hind legs as well as along the neck as these are where your dog’s major blood vessels are located. Cooling the blood as it passes through the vessels will help keep their internal temperature down.
- Provide access to shade: Tree shade as well as tarps are the most effective as they do not restrict air flow. You may think your kennel is sufficient to protect your dog from the heat but, this in fact can just make it worse.
Keep your dogs cool to make sure they enjoy Summer as much as the rest of us!!