Heat in the summer months can be very appealing to most of us, as we enjoy the outdoors and soak up vitamin D. However, dogs don’t always cope with it like us humans do. Dogs do not regulate their body temperature the same way humans do; when we get hot, we automatically sweat through glands all over our body. In addition, we can find some shade and fetch ourselves a cool drink (no pun intended!). Dogs, however, have a small number of sweat glands on their body, on the pads of their paws, and in their nose; sweating is not an efficient way for them to cool off, this is why we often see them panting in the heavy heat. By panting, they are breathing to circulate the air through their body faster in an effort to cool off. Seeing a dog panting is a warning that you need to help them find a way to cool off. Below are some fun and interesting ways that can be essential to keeping your furry friends cool in the summer heat:
Water, water, and you’ve got it, more water!
Keeping your dog hydrated in the heat is crucial, as dehydration can lead to a series of health complications. For more specific information on dehydration in dogs click here. So how do you ensure your dog is staying hydrated? First, make sure they always have fresh, cold water available to drink. You need to have a clean, full water bowl available in the house and outside in the yard. What about taking your dog for a drive or a hike in the summer? There are many portable travel bowls you can bring so you can provide your best fur ball with cold water on the go. Travel Collapsible Bowls are commonly seen clipped onto a hiker’s belt or personal water bottle that allows you to easily provide water wherever your adventures may take you.
Beat the Heat with Frozen Treats
Who doesn’t get excited when they hear the bells of an ice cream truck coming into the neighborhood?!?! Humans aren’t the only creatures that enjoy a yummy treat in the summer. Dogs can certainly enjoy frozen treats too! However, giving a double scoop, waffle cone ice cream isn’t recommended for dogs because most of them are lactose intolerant. BUT… there are many frozen treats a dog can enjoy, there is even ice cream made for dogs available at some local markets! Homemade frozen dog treats are easy to make on your own. Check out these recipes!
Provide Sufficient Shady Areas
We don’t all have air conditioning in our homes and sometimes, depending on the structure of our house, the yard is the coolest place to be. Make sure that if stuck outside during the warmest hours of the day, your dog has a cool place out of the direct sun to retreat. If you don’t, by default, have a shady area in your yard (such as big trees, or access underneath a deck) you will want to consider building a homemade shade for your dog or investing in a product such as the Pet Cot Canopy.
Take a Dip!
We all know how nice a cool swim in lake feels when temperatures are scorching in the summer. This is also a great way for dogs to cool off. An added benefit is the energy your dog will expel during this activity! However, not all dogs know how to swim or are strong swimmers. If this is the case for your furry friend, look into purchasing a dog life jacket. For those that don’t live close to a fresh body of water, a kiddie pool or “doggie pool” is another great way to allow your dog to cool off in the water.
Have you ever noticed your dog gravitating to the “coolest” floor in the house after a long walk or fetch activity? Ensuring your dog has a cool surface to lie on in the house can provide a way to keep them cool. Tile floors work well for this, but if you aren’t about to renovate your home solely for this purpose you can purchase a cooling mat for your dog to rest on. Cooling mats function by absorbing the heat from the dog and dispersing the heat into the environment. Much cheaper than redesigning a kitchen or bathroom and these mats are typically designed to also be used as a travel accessory.
NEVER, EVER, EVER!
Lastly, while keeping your dog cool is crucial for their health and safety in the summer, the easiest way to prevent overheating in dogs is to NEVER leave them unattended in a hot vehicle. It is so easy to overestimate the amount of time it takes for the interior of a vehicle to heat up to dangerous temperatures. As a rule of thumb, NEVER leave your precious furry friend in this situation. In addition, if you see a dog left unattended in a hot vehicle please look for help!
Leaving your dog tied up in the hot sun is just as dangerous, as is walking them on hot pavement. These two situations can also lead to overheating AND burning extremely quick.
As you can see, there are many different strategies (and cool gadgets of course) to tackle the heat when it comes to keeping your furry friend safe and comfortable. Remember, a cool dog is a happy dog! If you know your dog will be stuck in the heat (inside or out) consider booking our doggy daycare, where they can enjoy air conditioning or head outside to play in the water with their friends. Learn more here: http://petcitycanada.com/services/#daycare.