Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe and Coolby Coach Lilly 1.27.15
Summer is a fun time of year for dogs, as much as it is fun for humans. Many dogs still want to play outdoors despite the heat. There are many ways to keep your dog cool as we encounter the summer heat.
Keep in mind that dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating like humans. They sweat a small amount through their pads, but dogs primarily cool off by panting. Even when they are panting, it is not enough when it is extremely hot and humid.
Keep fresh, cold water available at all times!
It is essential that you keep fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times. In hot weather, this is even more critical so they do not over-heat. Make sure you keep the water dish full in a covered location and change the water frequently. If spending a lot of time outdoors, consider installing a water bowl that hooks up to a faucet. There are many systems available that are designed to provide water and are replenished by the dog’s motion.
Dogs need shelter from the hot sun!
Dogs might enjoy a little sunbathing, but he or she ultimately needs a shady spot. Sun exposure not only leads to heat exhaustion, it can also cause sunburn. Dogs can get sunburned like humans! The best thing is to offer shelter. If your backyard doesn’t provide a lot of shade, consider getting an insulated dog house and put the dog house in a shady area for extra coolness. If your dog likes the indoors better, perhaps install a doggie door so they can go outside as needed, but come back to cool off.
Pools are fun for cooling your dog!
If you have a swimming pool try getting your dog to enjoy the water. Swimming is not olny good exercise for dogs, it can cool them off quickly. Many pools are built now with a “sun shelf” or a “beach area” that consists of a 1 foot deep shelf to relax and stay cool. Our pups here at DoggieNation love the “beach area”. Start out slow if your dog is not used to a pool and after a few times, they may start to enjoy the water!
If you don’t have a swimming pool, then a kiddie pool (molded plastic style) could be a great addition to your summer fun. You can find tubs or pools at most stores such as Target or Wal-Mart. Many dogs enjoy playing and lounging in the cool water. It is best to supervise your dog at all times (as you would a child!). Also, keep the pool in a shady spot and change the water frequently.
As a third alternative, you might also try running a sprinkler to see if your dog likes it. In our experiences with our own dogs, most pups prefer a pool to a sprinkler. Either activity is great summer fun!
DoggieNation’s final tips!
Overall, air conditioning and water is the best way to prevent overheating. No matter what you do to keep your dog cool, it is most important to monitor them. When in doubt, bring them indoors to cool off. If you notice any over heating or possible heat stroke, contact your veternarian immediately.
We hope you have found this article helpful during these extremely hot summer months! Dogs need to stay cool just as much as we do!
Jordana and the DoggieNation Team