“The best therapist has fur and four legs.” Summer is here, which means it’s time…
Dogs don’t have the same luxuries that we humans do for staying cool in hot summer temperatures. They need to find alternative means to staying cool, and it’s our responsibility to lead this effort. Since our dogs can’t relay the message that they’re overheating, it’s important to act accordingly. Here are ten ways to prevent your dog overheating this summer.
1. Exercise appropriately
Daily walks are always good exercise, but at what cost? If the sun is overbearing, you should consider replacing the walk with some dog-play indoors with the air conditioning. If your dog is set on going for a walk, do your best to keep the stroll short and at an earlier or later time in the day. Avoid the high temperature midday sun.
2. Groom the coat
Your dog’s health coincides with the health of his coat, so grooming is essential. Keeping your dog’s coat groomed will help keep him cool. Brushing out loose hair helps to lighten the layers. If your dog’s coat needs regular cuts, he may benefit from a shorter coat in the hot summer months.
Keep in mind, that dogs with fur shouldn’t be shaver all the way down. This includes breeds will short coats and long coats alike. Dog’s coats protect them from sunburns and is in fact, meant to keep them cool. Consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure whether you can give your dog a summer haircut.
3. Make a summer splash
Take a day trip to the nearest lake for a doggy dip and perhaps a picnic under the shade. If you lack the lake, a kiddie pool in the backyard will more than suffice for preventing your dog overheating. Furthermore, hook up the sprinkler and let your dog go nuts.
4. Keep the den chilled
Your dog benefits from air conditioning just as much as you do (if not more). So, keep the cool temperature set appropriately even when you’re not home. If there’s no central air, a well-placed fan will assist in filling the void.
5. Supply plenty of water
Keep your dog’s water bowl filled and chilled. Refrain from making the water freezing cold, in order to prevent shock in the case that your dog is suffering from heat stroke. Adding ice cubes to the bowl is safe in small amounts, despite any recent rumors (they have been debunked).
Dog overheating take-home
In summary, when out in the summer sun, keep an eye on your dog and be on the lookout for any signs of your dog overheating. If you’re aiming to take that daily walk, stay close to home. If you’re spending the day inside, keep the central air moving. You know your dog best, so look for the subtleties in their behavior and you’ll both stay safe and cool.