Summer is upon us which means sun, fun and adventure with your hound. Although both humans and dogs love sunlight and warm weather, it’s crucial to protect your four-legged friend from those powerful summer rays. Below are some quick and easy tips on how to keep your pup cool, safe and hydrated so that they can enjoy the season and stay healthy and well.
Give them icy treats
Who doesn’t like a frozen treat on a hot sunny day? Most dogs love to have an icy treat, and it’s a great way to keep them cool during the heat.
You can experiment by making your own frozen dog treats. We’re especially fond of this icy watermelon dog treat recipe from LittleThings. If you want to stay out of the kitchen or are strapped for time, reach into the refrigerator for a Popsicle. (Yes, pups can have fruit-based popsicles.)
Cold treats not only help your dog to hydrate, but the ice cold chunks feel refreshing to your pooch.
Create a paddling pool
Nothing cools a pooch off quite as well as bathing in some cold water. If you live near a river or stream, let your dog waddle around in the water. At home, fill up your kiddie pool with cold water and let them soak.
If you don’t have a yard or pool, let your dog chill indoors in a cool bathtub. At a minimum, you can take a wet, cold towel and press it against their neck, between their hind legs, and under their armpits.
Don’t leave them in the car
It’s not okay to leave your furry friend in a hot vehicle (not even for a few minutes). While some dog owners think that leaving the windows slightly open will prevent the car from overheating, this simply isn’t true. The inside of a car heats up very quickly during the hot months, even with the windows down.
If you want to take your pooch along for errands, take him or her inside with you. If dogs aren’t allowed, make sure you have a friend who can get your pet out of the vehicle where they can enjoy the breeze while you are finishing your obligations. Otherwise, the most relaxing place for your hound is at home.
Be cautious of exercise
Make sure to avoid over-exercising your dog in the summer. Just like kids, dogs don’t always realize when it’s time to stop. They will keep on playing and jumping, even after their body temperature has risen. This is why it’s your responsibility to keep tabs on the heat and how your hound is responding to it.
Keep track of the amount of time they’re out playing in high temperatures, and try to limit most of their outdoor exercise to late evening or early morning when it’s cooler.
Watch where they walk
Sand and asphalt heat up quickly in the summer and can become scorching hot. Anyone who goes to the beach knows the feeling. Dogs have the same experience.
If you take your pup for a walk, make sure to avoid contact with the asphalt. If the temperature is 77 degrees outside and the sun is out, asphalt can reach 125 degrees. Choose the grass instead. Also, map out other places to walk your dog such as woodsy trails, dog-friendly parks, and grassy walkways.
Keep them hydrated
Fido should always have access to a clean water supply, regardless of the current temperature. This becomes even more critical on hot days when water can quickly evaporate from your hound’s drinking bowl.
Consider investing in an automatic refilling bowl that restocks as your pup drinks the water, or set up an extra large container to make sure your dog still has plenty of water.
Pay extra attention to at-risk dogs
As with humans, there are at-risk groups among dogs whose skin is extra sensitive to heat. At-risk dogs mainly include older hounds and puppies, obese pooches and breeds with short noses including pugs, bulldogs and boxers.
These dogs carry a higher risk of overheating because they aren’t able to release their body heat as effectively. Your best bet is to limit their exposure to the sun.
You and your pooch can enjoy the lazy days of summer in all their grandeur as long as you keep your dog’s well-being in mind and remember that the sun can be a foe as well as a friend.
Dogs are well-loved by humans because they are cute, sweet and adorable. If you are the owner of a dog, how do you keep them cool even if it is summer? If you are a new dog owner, this infographic will work best for you. Pick some activities for them.