Summer is a great time for dogs, as the warm weather allows them more opportunities to play and explore outdoors. But soaring temperatures can also be dangerous for pups, especially those who are sensitive to heat. Check out these six tips to ensure your dog stays cool while having fun in the sun all summer long.
Maintain Regular Grooming
During the warmer months, be sure to brush your dog’s coat frequently so they’re not carrying around the extra weight of shedding fur. Schedule an appointment to get their coat shaved (professional groomers like those at Dogtopia will be sure to keep their hair at least an inch long to protect their skin from sunburn). However, if your dog is a breed that has a double coat, such as a Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky and Bernese Mountain Dog, it’s best not to shave them as their undercoat helps to keep them cool.
Watch For Warning Signs
A good rule of thumb is if you feel hot, your dog probably does, too. Keep a close eye on their behavior and watch for warning signs of overheating like excessive panting, a faster than normal heart rate, pale gums, and thick drool. Symptoms of overheating include convulsions, vomiting or diarrhea. Be especially vigilant if your dog is a brachycephalic breed like a Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boxer or Pug, as their short noses and flattened mouths make it more difficult for them to breathe, which can make it more difficult for them to cool down. It can also lead to respiratory issues, especially in the summer.
Rethink Your Walks
Consider the time of day you typically walk your dog and opt for early morning or late evening when the temperature is not at its peak to avoid dehydration and overheating. If your usual route involves hard surfaces, outfit your pup in a pair of doggie booties to protect their paws from hot pavement or concrete. Depending on your usual length of walks, you may also want to shorten them during the summer, or at least bring extra water and take frequent breaks.
Create a Cooling Environment
If your dog is spending any amount of time outside during the summer, be sure to provide them with a variety of ways to cool down. Consider adding sprinklers, misters or a children’s wading pool to your backyard, and make sure your pup always has access to plenty of shade and water. Be sure that you don’t keep their water in a metal bowl, as it will quickly heat up. Also, freeze some of their chew toys to keep your dog cool and provide extra hydration. One of our favorite ways to delight pups in the summer is to take a sturdy Kong toy, fill it with carrots, seal it with peanut butter and freeze it for a cool, refreshing treat. If you have a pool, be vigilant and ensure pets and children are supervised around water.
Keep Them Out Of Parked Cars
Did you know that a parked car can heat up by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes? While you may be tempted to bring your pup with you and leave them in the car for a few minutes, they’ll be at risk of overheating or heat stroke, even if you park in the shade and roll the windows down. Click here to learn about your state’s laws regarding dogs in cars. Dogs can suffer permanent brain damage or even death within minutes of heat stroke.
Consider Indoor Play
At Dogtopia, we have climate-controlled indoor playrooms year round to make sure your dog gets plenty of fun and exercise with no exposure to hot weather. Our HVAC systems keep fresh air circulating throughout our safe and supervised indoor playrooms. Contact your local Dogtopia to book your dog’s indoor play.