Summer can be so fun as a dog owner as you can be outside more with your furry friend. But when temperatures rise, owners need to take extra steps to keep their dog safe, healthy, and cool. To keep your dogs safe and cool we pulled together some tips on handling heat!
Watch Exercise and Walk Times
Rather than taking walks in the middle of the day or warmest part of the day, consider changing walk times to a cooler part of the day. That could be earlier in the day or even later in the evening to make sure the dogs can stay cool and don’t overheat. If walks and exercise need to happen in the middle of the day, ensure that the pavement or sidewalk is not too hot. This can be tested by putting your bare hand on the ground. If it is too hot for you, then it will be too hot for your pups paws! Consider an indoor exercise or ensure that the dogs can walk on the grass if it is too warm!
Provide Shade and Water
Although we suggest not having dogs outside in the heat, we understand that at times it will happen and cannot be avoided. When the dogs are going to be outside, provide them with an ample amount of water, and add in ice cubes to keep it cooler longer. If possible, leave them in an outdoor area with lots of shade. Whether it’s trees, an outdoor umbrella, or even patio cover, this will give them a space to escape the heat and sun while also letting air flow through to get the breeze. Also providing a kiddy pool or sprinklers so dogs can cool themselves off while being outside is going to be a must in the summer.
Keep Dogs Groomed
Getting your dog groomed regularly during the summer is going to help them stay cool and self regulate their temperature. Knots and matted fur can keep heat from escaping, so making sure they are keeping them properly groomed can allow for heat to escape their body. Between grooming, making sure to brush them out regularly to get rid of any undercoat that is shedding from the winter months.
One thing to keep in mind is making sure to not shave dogs that have a double coat. These breeds include huskies, corgis, and labs. When they are shaved, it ends up doing the opposite of cooling and makes it harder for them to self regulate their body temperature. On the other hand, dogs with a single layer coat, such as poodles, can be shaved during the summer without any problems. If you have a question as to whether or not your dog can be shaved, check in with your vet and groomer!
Know the Signs of Overheating
Keeping an eye on heatstroke is key when taking care of animals during a heatwave. Since they can’t tell us they are not feeling well or are too warm, it is important to know the signs of a heatstroke. The symptoms include:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Hard time breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Red gums and tongue