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Ten Top Tips to Keeping Your Dog Cool this Summer
Summer is right around the corner, and so are higher temperatures and strong UV rays. It's very important to remember that the rising temperatures can have a major effect on your dog's health. Canines can overheat quite easily because the only way to release heat is by panting and through a limited number of sweat glands between their toes. Here's a list of 10 top tips for keeping your dog cool and hydrated so they can enjoy the summer as much as we do!
1) Don’t leave your pet in an unattended vehicle:
On a 24°C day, temperatures inside a parked car can reach a staggering 46°C within an hour. Even with the windows down, dogs can easily overheat if left in these conditions.
2) Avoid walking on hot surfaces like asphalt:
Your pup’s paws can be as sensitive as the soles of your feet. If the asphalt’s too hot for you to walk on, chances are it’s too hot for your dog too. On a walk, try to alternate between asphalt, pavement and grass so your dog's paws do not get overheated.
3) Supply lots of fresh, clean water:
Some dogs can get a bit agitated with their water if there's an odd scent or if it's been warming up in the sun for a while. Keeping a fresh, clean supply of water will ensure that your dog drinks more often and stays hydrated.
4) If it's over 30°C, leave your dog at home:
Going to the beach and sitting out all day in the sun is something we humans enjoy, but it can leave pooches severely dehydrated. Even if you feel like the heat is bearable, remember, when dogs are exposed to moderately high temperatures over an extended period of time, their bodies might be unable to cool down.
5) Don't overexercise pets:
If you can tell your dog is breathing more rapidly or having some trouble chasing after a ball, slow things down and allow them to cool down. Outdoor activities are great but, instead of playing in the blazing afternoon sun, try tossing a ball around as the sun is setting.
6) Apply sunscreen to your dog’s fur and skin:
Despite their furry coats, dogs can still be exposed to and damaged by UV rays. Coating their fur and skin in doggy UV protectant sunblock will help prevent burns and keep them healthy.
7) Let your dog stand in a cool pool:
Aside from panting, dogs cool down through the sweat glands in their paws. Having them stand in a cool pool of water or giving them a quick foot soak can help lower their body temperature. It can also be helpful to put some cold water on your dog’s chest. Never use ice to help your dog cool down, as it may lower their temperature too quickly and constrict blood flow, which will actually inhibit the body from cooling.
8) Walk during cooler times of the day:
Simple adjustments to your dog’s daily routine can help keep them from being outside during the hottest hours. Switch walking times to early mornings and evenings; that way your pup still gets the exercise they need with less risk of overheating.
9) Keep an eye on humidity:
When the air is full of moisture, your dog may not be able to pant enough to cool themselves off. That can raise their core temperature, which can lead to heatstroke. Stay inside, and limit exercise, too.
10) Proper grooming is important:
If your dog has long hair, get rid of any mats and tangles. It will help keep to keep them cool. Don't shave or clip their coat before you talk to your vet or groomer. The extra fur that keeps them warm in winter may also keep him cool in summer.