Yes, it’s summertime but unfortunately for the last couple of months, the livin’ has not been very easy. You and your dog are probably about to go crazy from being stuck inside so much, and I don’t blame you guys one bit. However, hold on before you go running out the door into the summer heat, and let me give you some tips that WILL make life easy for you and your dog.
GIVE PLENTY OF WATER AND SHADE
Panting, sweating and other bodily functions cause your dog to lose water from its body all day long.This might seem like a given but any time you are playing outside it is always very important to make sure that your dog has enough water to drink. A dog that loses even just 10% of its daily water can become dehydrated and sick. Dehydration can kill a dog, so it is very important to make sure that there is plenty of water available. It is also very important to try to find an area that may provide natural shade for your dog to rest in. If you know that you will be somewhere without much shade from buildings or trees, you’ll have to bring your own shade with you.
The Explorer Pup Tent from Alcott is a great way you can do this. It’s large enough to accommodate most breeds and their beds, and is a perfect place for your dog to take a breather in the shade for a few minutes before returning to play. The Explorer Pup Tent also features 5 areas of ventilation for optimal airflow so that your dog stays nice and cool.
You can trim your dog’s coat, but don’t overgroom it. Dogs naturally rid themselves of excess fur they do not need by shedding. Your animals will begin to lose a bit of their winter coat as the days get hotter. However, the remaining fur not only provides protection from the sun but also regulates their body temperature by slowing down heat absorption.
Also be sure not to let the groomer trim your animal's lashes, as the longer lashes help to shield their eyes from the sun.
NO CAR RIDES ON HOT DAYS
This day and age it's safe to say most dog owners know not to leave their dogs in a locked car, but with summer in full effect, it can’t hurt to underline this point. It is never a good idea to leave your dog unattended inside of a locked vehicle. You probably already knew that, but did you know that even riding in the car can be uncomfortable for your dog on hot days? On a hot day the interior of your vehicle can go soaring into unpleasant temperatures in a matter of minutes. It’s better to just leave your dog at home in the A/C, and forgo trips in the hot car. Your dog will appreciate it, trust me.
WATCH OUT FOR HEAT STROKE
Heatstroke is a very real danger for dogs in the summer, and you should learn to identify the signs of this condition in your dog. Panting, increased heart rate, fever, and confusion are the most common signs, but in extreme cases dogs who are suffering from heat stroke may also collapse and can become incontinent as well.
So how can you prevent heatstroke? On especially hot days you can combine a tent like the one from Alcott, with a cooling pad such as the offering from Green Pet Shop.
The Cool Pet Pad is a reusable, non-toxic dog pad that you never even have to put in the refrigerator. It is pressure sensitive so it will get nice and cool for your dog all on it’s own. The best part about the pad is that there’s no water or liquid of any kind inside of it so you will never have to clean up a mess because the pad leaked. Instead it relies on a special gel that gets cold when your dog lays on it. How “cool” is that?
If you and your dog are more active, you should acquire a cooling vest to cool the dog’s chest area and vital internal organs.
Both the Dog Core vest from Kurgo, and Hurtta’s Evaporating Cooling Vest are cooling vests that you simply soak in water to use. Wring out the excess and then put it on your dog to cool them down for hours.
LIMIT TIME OUTSIDE
Even with a shady place for your pup, you should avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. Generally this goes from about 11:00 am until about 3:00 pm in the afternoon but could be different, depending on where you live. One reason for this is because the concrete underneath their sensitive foot pads will have been baking in the sun for most of the morning by this time, and can be blistering hot. If you can’t lay your hand on the ground for 5 seconds without being in pain, then your dog is probably burning its feet as well. You may also consider altering your walking schedule, and planning accordingly to make sure that you are going out at the coolest possible times. This can either mean walking much earlier in the morning, or walking later in the evening after the sun has gone down.
If you are going to walk at night, you need to also make sure that your dog is visible. You can use LEDs to do this, and Keep Doggie Safe has a wide range of LED, and lighted products for your dog, from collars and leashes, to light up harnesses.
Taking steps to create a positive association with being indoors during these hours will make your life with your dog much easier. Try doing the same activity during the time in doors with your dog to create a connection with these enjoyable activities when it is too hot to be outdoors. This could be done by playing with your dog at the same time every day, or designating this time as a time to be calm and rest.
Okay, you’ve heard my spiel and now you’re all set and ready to go. Just remember to keep your dog cool, and provide lots and lots of water, and you’ll be enjoying the rest of the summer in comfort.