Does the sight of your dog panting, salivating, and acting disoriented upset you? Do summers get you worried about your pet?
Do you constantly worry that your dog may suffer a heat stroke but don’t know how to help?
All your worries end here. We’ve listed several tips that you can use to keep your dog cool and comfortable this summer.
Signs of Overheating
Panting and sweating through the paw pads are two ways dogs regulate their body temperature. But these methods aren’t always effective. Dogs are prone to overheating, especially in hot weather.
Here are some signs of your dog overheating:
- Excessive panting
- Reddened gums
- Uncoordinated movements
If you observe any of these signs, take steps to cool them down, and take them to a local vet.
How To Keep Your Dogs Cool
On hot summer days, we can have bowls of ice cream or take a quick dip in our backyard swimming pool. But what about our pets? They too must endure the unbearable heat.
So they count on us, their owners, to provide them relief from the scorching heat.
Follow these tips and help them get through the summer
1. Keep Them Hydrated
Make sure your pets have constant access to clean, cool water. Carry an extra water bottle for your dog on trips, and encourage them to drink water every 30 minutes or so.
You can also add some ice cubes to the water. During the summer, they'll undoubtedly appreciate a cool, refreshing drink.
2. Groom Them Before The Summer Hits
Many dogs shed naturally in time for the summer. Brush through their coat regularly to get rid of the loose hair.
You can also opt to give your pooch a haircut to help with the heat. But don’t shave your dog's fur. Your dog's coat prevents excess heat from reaching their skin and keeps them cool. Further, their skin will be more sensitive to direct sunlight after the shave.
3. Cooling Pads And Mats
Cooling pads and mats will help lower your dog's body temperature and offer instant respite from the heat. You can choose from various options like pressure-activated gel, water-activated crystals, and more.
You can even use towels soaked in cool water to cool them down.
4. Avoid The Midday Sun
Midday temperatures are often high everywhere. Avoid activity or walks during hot hours, depending on where you reside. Save them for early mornings or evenings when the temperature is lower. Exercise exhaustion combined with the summer heat is bad for your dog.
5. Meal And Frozen Treats
Dogs tend to lose their appetite in summers due to the extreme heat. You can switch their dry food to gravy-based food. The latter has high moisture content and will help keep your dog hydrated.
You can also freeze our dog beer in ice trays or a freezer proof mold and serve as frozen treats!
6. Create Some Shade
If you observe, dogs choose the coolest places to lie down during summers. They may dig a cozy spot for themselves in the damp garden, lay themselves on the bathroom floor, or choose the cool tiles in your living room.
Keep your pets away from direct sunlight whenever possible. On outings, choose a well-shaded area.
If there are no such spots, create some. Patio umbrellas or pop-up canopies will work. You can even fashion a makeshift tent out of cloth.
7. Water Activities
Take your pooch to a fun swimming session. But don't forget to give your dog a quick wash after the swim. The chlorine in swimming pools can irritate its skin.
You could also hose your dog with cool water or play with it under the sprinklers if it isn’t a big fan of swimming.
8. Cool Spot To Rest
Ensure your dog always has a cool spot to rest. Consider closing the windows' blinds, keeping your room well ventilated, or installing a fan near the place of its rest.
If your dog has its own place, you can use these tips for cooling a dog house.
- Place the dog house in a shady spot
- Raise it a few inches above the ground
- Change the heavy sheets to light-weight cotton ones
- Ensure good ventilation in the dog house
- Install a fan or a mini cooler if you have hotter-than-average summers
Precautions During Summer
All these tips will definitely keep your pets cool this summer. But you can do a few more things to take care of your dogs in the summer heat.
1. Never leave your dog in a parked car
Closed, parked cars heat up rapidly, especially in the summer. Dogs can succumb to heat stroke within a few minutes.
2. Beware of Ticks and Fleas
Ticks and fleas thrive in the summer heat. They are annoyingly itchy to your pets and can even carry various diseases.
Ensure your dog's resting area or the dog house is clean and pest free. If you find ticks and fleas in your dog’s coat, take it to a vet immediately and get them removed.
Dog Breeds More Susceptible To Heat
Though all dogs suffer in summers due to their thick coats, some are more prone to heat strokes than others.
- Flat-faced or brachycephalic dogs already find it hard to breathe. What's worse, they can’t lose heat by panting like other dogs.
- Giant dog breeds and those with thicker coats struggle to keep themselves cool.
- Ill and older dogs are more sensitive to heat and cannot adjust their body temperature.
Summers can be fun only if you and your pet are comfortable and able to spend your days without being troubled by the hot weather. To accomplish this, you must keep your pet cool at all times.
If you observe any symptoms of discomfort, move your pet to a cooler location and immediately give them cool water.
If nothing seems to work, rush your pet to the nearest vet.