With record temperatures around the country, it is important to keep your dogs in mind when it comes to keeping cool. Here are some tips for beating the summer heat with your puppy!
1.) Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night. These are the cooler parts of the day, and this will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog. Im a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, but this is the time of year to back off on exercise intensity.
2.) Use doggie boots. You can find these at your local pet supply store. If you canҒt walk your dog during the early and later hours of the day, this is a good way of protecting it. Heat rises from the ground, especially on surfaces like cement and asphalt, and dogs absorb and release heat through their feet. Just like boots prevent the dog from absorbing the cold in the winter, they also isolate heat.
3.) Watch for signs of dehydration. Dogs can’t sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, its eyes will be bloodshot and it may appear a little pale. If you lift its skin, it will take longer than usual for the skin to fall back into place.
4.) Let your dog check the weather. Dogs dont have the Weather Channel, so they donҒt know why they are being denied a long walk for the day. Allow your dog to step outside and feel for itself that it is too hot, too wet or too cold to go on a long walk. Instinctually, the dog will understand that it has to shorten its walk, or simply come back inside where its safe.
5.) Find innovative ways to cool your dog. DonҒt have air conditioning? No problem! Find a spot in the shade and set up a kiddie pool. Lay down a wet towel for your dog to lie on. Or simply set up a fan in front of a pan of ice.
6.) Dogs cool from the bottom up. Make sure to spray the paws and stomach, not just the top of the dog, when spraying it with water. A wet towel does more good on the bottom of your dog than when laid on the top of its coat.
7.) Let your dog dig! Your dog may resort to finding his own way to avoid the heat. Dogs in nature dig their dens not out of frustration but to find food, hide, give birth or keep cool! If its possible, locate a shady area where itҒs okay for your dog to dig.
8.) Keep your dog hydrated! Different dogs have different needs when battling the heat. Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats. Also, overweight dogs will dehydrate faster. Carry a bottle of water when going on a walk with your dog. Better yet have your dog carry it for you in a backpack or a vest! The water in the bottles will keep the dog cooler and also give the dog a sense of purpose.
9.) Never leave your dog in a parked car. The car retains more heat than an open area, even if it is in the shade. Plus, a dog may get overexcited in the car due to passersby or panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. On longer trips, make sure you have water for the dog and keep the AC running.
10.) Use hot weather as an excuse to swim more often! The best activity you can do in summertime or hot weather is swimming. Instead of walking the dog, take the dog on a pet friendly swim! If you hold them and allow them to take you around the pool, it becomes a powerful bonding experience for the two of you, similar to the walk.
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