It is important to keep your dogs cool in hot weather, so here are some top tips for dealing with the summer heat!
1. Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night
Since these are the cooler parts of the day, this will make the walk more enjoyable, not only for your dog, but also you. Reduce the amount of time you are out with them, they will over heat very quickly in the summer sun.
2. Watch for signs of dehydration
Dogs can’t sweat like humans. They cool down by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, its eyes may 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….time for a big drink of water!
3. 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 are at higher risk for dehydration. Always take a bottle of water when walking your dog.
4. Find innovative ways to cool your dog
Don’t 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. We have a child paddling pool thats just deep enough to lay down in and keep cool. Also the kennels have the tops painted white to reflect the heat.
5. Let your dog check the weather.
Dogs don’t have the Weather Channel, so they don’t 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 it’s safe.
6. Never leave your dog in a parked car.
I know I know, obvious right….but it still happens! 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 if it thinks it is going for a walk or passers-by or even panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. On longer trips, ensure you have water (keep it cool if possible) for the dog and keep the AC running.
7. Finally, the best one! 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 swim. If you hold on and allow your dog to take you around the pool, it becomes a powerful bonding experience for the two of you, similar to the walk. If you don’t have a pool (like most of us) find some nice safe natural water area they can have a splash.
Above all common sense…”Think Dog” how would you feel in hot weather with a furry coat on?