Dog Days of Summer : How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer
Even police dogs are at risk of harm from overheating.
Ozzy, a police dog in Southern California, died after being left in a police car for too long.
The Long Beach Police Department was “extremely saddened” by the incident.
Are you trying to learn how to keep your dog cool in the summer? Read this article to learn the best way to keep your dog cool when it is hot.
Hot Car Syndrome
Leaving your dog in your car during hot weather is a sure way to harm your dog. Even a short time in the heat box that is your car in summer is dangerous.
The American Veterinary Medical Association warns that the temperature inside your car can rise surprisingly quickly.
In 10 minutes, the temperature can rise 20 degrees Fahrenheit. After 60 minutes the inside temperature can exceed the outside temperature by over 40 degrees. That means on a pleasantly 75-degree day the inside temperature of your car can be a tortuous 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
You might think that if you open the windows slightly that you will keep the temperature at a reasonable level. The American Veterinary Medical Association warn that this has almost no effect.
If you are unable to take your dog with you when you park your car you are putting your dog at risk. The best thing to do for your dog is to leave them at home.
Take Care Cooling Off
When the weather is hot, what’s nicer than a cool swim. Your dog may love a cool splash in a river or pond but it’s not risk-free.
Your dog may not be as strong a swimmer as you think. The doggy paddle may be fine for a short swim but it can get tiring. Keep an eye on your dog in case they get into trouble.
There are doggie life jackets that can help a dog enjoy a cooling swim without risking their safety. There are many cases of dogs getting into difficulties when swimming quickly followed by their owners trying to rescue them.
A safer option is to have some cool fun in a kid’s pool or garden sprinkler. Both you and your dog can cool off and have some fun too. There’s nothing funnier than a dog playing in the jet from a hose pipe.
Direct sunlight is great if you want a tan but it’s not good for your dog. In hot weather, make sure your dog has access to shady places. You might be surprised to learn that your dog can suffer from sunburn.
Shade under trees or other natural shade is ideal. You might need to provide shade by constructing a shelter or even set up a beach tent for your dog.
Remember that if you leave your dog outside for some time that the sun will move during the day. A useful shady spot may turn into a heat trap later in the day.
As the heat rises will need to drink more water. Provide plenty of fresh water for your dog and give them more opportunities to drink. This will keep them hydrated and cooler.
If you are on the move, take water with you together with a portable drinking bowl. A collapsible bowl is easy to store and carry. Stop regularly to offer your dog a drink and a rest.
When the weather gets hot there’s nothing nicer than to enjoy the breeze from a fan or air-conditioning unit. Your dog will enjoy this too.
Be prepared for the seasons by regularly servicing and completing air-conditioning and heater system repairs. You and your dog will appreciate it when extreme weather hits.
Enclosed spaces such as a dog house or even a room indoors can get very hot. If a room is unventilated, the air can get humid and uncomfortable. Provide a ventilated place for your dog to get relief from the heat.
Run the air-conditioning or make sure there is a breeze from a fan or a slightly open window. Your dog will appreciate it.
A cold treat will help your dog cool off as well as stimulate them. You might even like them yourself.
Freeze banana slices together with fruit juice in an ice cube tray for a tasty and cool snack. Blend peanut butter and strawberries and then freeze in an ice cube tray as an alternative. You might find that this is a treat to serve outdoors as they can become rather melty and messy.
Take It Easy
Hot weather is not the best time for energetic exercise. Take some time out for cooling down and relaxing.
Dogs with a thick coat or who are overweight may need more rest than others. Breeds with a short snout can also find it difficult to breathe heavily in hot weather. Take special care of older dogs who need to rest more.
Taking exercise is best done in the cooler parts of the day. An early morning walk may be the best time to avoid the worst of the heat. Let your dog take a long siesta when the heat is at its worst.
Say No to Hot Feet
Pavements, sand, metal surfaces and even wood can get hot in the sun. Your dog has tender paws and heat can damage them. Blisters or burns on the paws can be very uncomfortable.
Check surfaces with your bare hand before allowing your dog to walk on them. If you find the heat unbearable then your dog may too.
Watch Out For the Signs
Keep an eye on your dog during hot weather for any signs of overheating.
If they are panting more heavily than normal or having difficulty breathing this could be a sign that they are overheating. A raised heartbeat, lethargy, poor coordination and in extreme cases unconsciousness may all be due to overheating.
If you notice any symptoms cool your dog down. In extreme cases, your dog may need the help of a veterinarian.
How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer
Now that you know how to keep your dog cool in the summer, you can enjoy the summer and keep your dog safe.
Playing with your dog and staying safe too is what responsible dog owners do. Have a great doggie summer!
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