Keeping your pups cool during the hot summer months can be critical to their health and happiness. We’ve put together some easy tips to make sure you and your furry friends can stay cool while still having summer fun!
#1: Bring water with you
It is so important for your dog to stay hydrated when you two are out enjoying the sun. Make sure you always have a bottle of water handy. There are also many portable water dishes you can buy at pet stores that will easily collapse so you can store it in your pocket or bag. Make sure to offer fresh water to your dog every 15-20 min or so (use your best judgement with the heat). You can also bring along frozen ‘pupsicles’ to keep your dog cool! Mix together some dog-friendly foods such as peanut butter, banana and yogurt. Freeze solid and bring along as a cool treat! But remember, even with delicious ‘pupsicles’ your dog will still require access to fresh water.
#2: Limit time outside if your dog is short-nosed (Brachycephalic)
If your dog has a short nose (ex., Pug, English bulldog, French bulldog, Mastiff, etc.), it is critical that they don’t spend too much time in the heat. These breeds overheat much faster compared to longer nosed breeds and they have a much higher risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Make sure these dogs have access to water at all times, have access to plenty of shade that they can cool down in, and on days with heat warnings, it may be best to keep them inside for most of the day where it is air conditioned. For all dog breeds (not just short nosed) it is sometimes better to leave them at home instead of giving them a long walk or hike in the summer heat.
#3: Do not leave dogs in a hot car
Most people are aware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car. The temperature inside the car will be even hotter than the outside heat. When the weather is 70???F outside, after just 30min in the car it can feel like 104???F. If you must bring your dog in the car and leave him while running errands, see if a friend is available to come along with you. That way someone can keep your dog company while you run into the store and back, as well as you can leave the car running for the air conditioning. Always try to plan ahead so that you will not be in a situation that your dog has to sit in a hot car.
#4: Learn to recognise the signs of an overheated dog
It is always a great idea to learn more about your dog’s health and well-being. Taking a pet first aid course and learning to recognise when your dog isn’t quite acting themselves is all part of being the most responsible pet owner you can be. Some of the signs to watch out for are; excessive panting, dry nose, lack of appetite, wobbly or shaky when walking around. If your dog is suddenly experiencing one or more of these symptoms, give them time to cool off immediately. If symptoms don’t improve, call your vet and they can advise you if your dog needs immediate attention.
Having fun with your pup is easy! Now staying safe and healthy in the heat will be too!