Summertime is here and it’s amazing! It’s what we’ve been looking for all winter, dreaming of the sunshine, beach walks and sizzling hot evenings. At least I have, but lately it tends to get crazy hot in the summer over here, and I’m sure you have some insane hot months practically anywhere. It’s hard on us, but it gets even harder on our pets. So here are a few important things on how to protect your dog in the heat, so that you and your pup can have a fun and safe summer!
Hotter weather may mean that your pup is extra thirsty. Always make sure that your dog has easy access to cool, clean water. I change my girls’ water up to 10 times a day. Natural shade is equally important. So try to make sure that they have a cool sport in the garden. Shade also makes the perfect location for an outdoor water bowl, as the water will stay cooler. Also, my Frenchie loves to dip in the water, so I keep a small pool filled with fresh, cold water for her. Keep in mind that doghouses can often be even hotter than outside due to the lack of air flow.
Some dogs may benefit from a nice, short summer haircut. However, a dog’s coat isn’t just for keeping them warm. So be careful and before you set out to shave or trim your dog go through this article. It is important to note, that some pups need their hair for protection, even against heat. Shaving and trimming might change the coat texture only making it more difficult for your pup to cool down. A healthy coat can also help keep a dog cool by regulating their normal body temperature. Talk to your vet about any grooming options you’re considering for the summer. And instead of shaving or trimming, consider brushing them more often. It will keep their coat healthy by removing excess hair.
Never leave your dog alone in the car
I would rather think it goes without saying. The inside of a car can easily get 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature within a matter of minutes. So even if it’s not hot outside it can get really hot inside, due to the lack of ventilation. And no, leaving the windows open is not enough. Instead, leave your pet at home or in daycare if you need to run errands. If there is no alternative, make sure you park in the shade and leave the air conditioning on. And do not leave your pet alone for more than 10 minutes.
Get familiar with the signs of heatstroke
Dogs pant to cool themselves. Excessive panting however, can be a sign of heat stroke. I have an English bulldog, Bertie and she is prone to get a heatstroke even after light exercise in the heat. The typical signs would be excessive panting, excessive drooling, no willingness to walk or move and a runny nose. As soon as you notice any of these signs, make sure to cool down your dog. What works with Bertie is that I put her in a pool of cold water, that she can also drink. She’ll spend up to 10 minutes there and it usually does the trick. Don’t take this lightly though, a heatstroke if extremely dangerous, and if not treated on time can lead to overheating and death.
Change your walking routine
We would usually walk in the city but for the summer we need to swap routes. So I’ll usually scoop the girls in the car and head to the park or outside the city for a walk. If it isn’t possible make sure you get equipped. Cooling vests are widely popular and available in all shapes and sizes. You can keep it in the fridge and put it on your pup for the walk. It will keep them cool enough and prevent overheating.
And one last thought. Know your dog and pay close attention to their reaction to to rising temperatures. Some pups are completely ok with the heat, while some can’t handle it at all. Bulldog types, pugs, Boston terriers and generally dogs with a flat face can have difficulties handling the heat. Also pay extra attention to senior pets, and pups with health problems. Hope you enjoyed it, and look after your pup!