Summer time is very hot and humid, we humans get miserable and cranky, so imagine what your poor dogs go through. Here are some tips to help make their life better and more comfortable this summer on onwards.
Shade – is obvious, but the sun shifts position during the day. What is shady in the morning, will be blistering hot in the afternoon. So make sure your dog has shade at all times during the day, even if this means having shady areas to shelter under.
Water – LOTS of fresh, clean water available at all times. If your dog likes to play in the water and knock the bowl/bucket over, then tie it down. Secure the bowl to the wall, fence, door or put it in a tire.
NO Shaving – of your dog’s coat if he has a double coat! This double coat acts as an insulator and keeps the dog’s body cool in the heat. Your dog should be shedding / molting at this time, so brush frequently to remove all the dead undercoat hair, keep their coats unmatted and detangled. Air can then circulate between the hairs of the topcoat keeping the dog cool, while the topcoat keeps the skin protected from the sun.
Walking & Exercise – ONLY walk and exercise your dog in the cooler hours of the day, better yet, do so at night.
Hot Roads – Asphalt, concrete and sand can get very hot and scorch your dog’s paws.
Do the hand test, if you cannot hold the back of your hand down on the road for 5 seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. The pads of your dog’s paw is much like the thicker skin on the bottom of our feet, we can’t walk on the hot road barefoot without it burning. Walk on the grass instead.
Cars – You might think that by parking in the shade and leaving the windows down a crack is ok, but temperatures in cars can soar very quickly which can lead to dehydration, brain damage or even death.
Pool – Get a pool that your dog can go wading in or even lie down in the water to keep cool. Or you can cut a drum vertically in half, so it’s put on the ground lengthways, prop it into position with bricks or rocks, and fill at least 6 inches, depending on the size of your dog.
Ice in water – You can put ice in a bowl of water to keep the water cool. Do NOT give your dog ice water if he is extremely hot, since this can be a shock to his system.
Frozen treats – You can stuff Kongs or toys with different layers of treats and freeze, this will not only keep your dog’s mind busy and occupied, but can keep him cool as well.
Remember, dogs don’t sweat and keep cool by panting.
What to Do
Give your dog cool water – NOT cold water, which may make him vomit.
Sponge him down with a cool wet towel.
Soak him in a tub of cool water and keep a fan on him.
If your dog’s gums are grayish, his tongue is blue, or he is unconscious, call your veterinarian immediately!