Keep Your Dog Cool this summer
Well it seems that summer has finally arrived bringing with it, higher temperatures. As much as we humans enjoy the fun and the sun, it’s vitally crucial that you remember the effect that rising temperatures can have on your dog and his health. Most dog breeds easily overheat, and the only way they can release this excess heat is through a small amount of sweat glands in between their toes and by panting. Here we suggest 5 ways to help to keep your dog hydrated and cool, so they can enjoy the summer days just as much as you can.
1 Drinking Water – Provide a plentiful supply of fresh, cool drinking water. Use large containers and provide several in the shade, in case one is split. Try adding some ice cubes to the water, to make it cooler and refreshing.
- Fun in the sun – Provide a child’s paddling pool, filled with cold water. Dogs will love to wade into the water and splash around to keep cool. Cooling their feet freshens the sweat glands in their paws. Try splashing some water onto his chest too. Never use ice directly onto his body, as this may lower their body temperature too quickly, causing the blood flow to constrict. If you have small children at home, ensure that the paddling pool is fenced off safely, and never leave the dogs and children alone near the pool.
- Dogs and exercise – Try to walk your dog in the coolness of the evening, or early morning, especially on very hot, sunny days. Your dog will love a dip in the sea (if on a dog friendly beach location) or in a local river. This will not only cool your dog down, but will help him to avoid the possibility of dehydration, and the worry of painful paws resulting after a walk on very hot concrete pavements. Dogs aren’t always aware of their own limits and will keep on chasing a ball incessantly. If your pet begins to breath more rapidly, slow things down and allow time for him to cool off.
- Provide outside shelter – If your dog prefers to spend his time outside, provide some sort of shelter, such as an awning so that he has somewhere to lie down out of the rays of the sun. A tree or large shrub in the garden can help to provide some shelter too. If you are going out for the day, consider leaving your dog at home if it’s too hot. We humans seem to enjoy going to the beach and sitting out in the sun for most of the day, however, dogs do not. The excessive heat can leave a dog dehydrated, so it’s best and more comfortable for your pet to leave him at home.
- To trim or not to trim your dog’s coat – Many pet owners naturally assume that by trimming or shaving their dog’s fur during the heat of the summer will help to cool them down. In reality, this isn’t so, with the layers of your pet’s coat protecting them from sunburn and overheating. Trimming long hair to tidy up his coat is fine, but it won’t do anything to aid cooling purposes.
Always remember that it’s important to keep a close eye on your dog during these hot, summer days. If you are in doubt, move him to a cooler area. If you notice any signs of heat stroke, contact your vet immediately.