Summer is here and we expect weather to be extremely hot. Everyone is in a big round hat, sunglasses, well applied sunscreen and a bottle of cold water strolling in the sun. What about our furry friends? Do they get sunburn, dehydrated or risk heat stroke walking with us in this scorching sun?
Hot temperatures during summer can be dangerous to our pets. Dogs can get a sunburn on nose or paws, get dehydrated or suffer a heat stroke when left exposed for long. As you enjoy the summer, there is plenty you can do to ensure that your canine friend is not suffering in the hot sun.
Fantastic Ways of Keeping a Dog Cool during Summer or Hot Weather
Many dog breeds get endangered when exposed to hot or cold weather conditions and therefore need special attention. You can keep your furry friend cool outside during summer or hot weather through the following:-
1. Never leave your dog in the car
It is cruel and illegal to leave your dog inside a closed car even with low temperatures outside. Heat usually buildup in the car interior very fast and that can be life threatening to your pet. Dogs may not be able to control the internal body temperature due to little sweating and this will lead to organ failure.
Dogs left in the car mostly are found soaked in sweat, unconscious or even dead. Panting is the main mechanism of heat loss in dogs and cannot be sufficient enough to handle extreme heat. It is even impossible for a human being to withstand interior car heat when parked in the sun.
It will even be better to leave your dog at home if you know that you will not be able to walk with her when you get out of the car. Many people have spotted dogs left in the car when the owner is not around and the best thing to do is to report such cases to the authorities immediately for the dog to be rescued.
While some states have completely outlawed this leaving dogs in cars others without the law prohibits through animal cruelty laws. That means if you are found culpable, you will be prosecuted in courts of law.
2. Provide water and a cool shade
Offer your canine plenty of water mixed with ice cubes. Let her relax in cool areas of your home such as under the trees or shade. If you intent to leave her in the house, ensure its cool, the windows are wide open or possible switch on the AC. Avoid keeping her in the kennel since it can trap heat and make her suffer.
Water helps in hydration and cooling of the body. Areas with free flow of air carries away heat and cool the body. Ice cubes in a dish of water makes a fantastic cool treat for her during the sunny day.
3. Keep an eye on dehydration/heat stroke signs
During summer or hot weather, animals can be dehydrated or get heat stroke. This happens when plenty of water is lost from the body without being replaced. Monitoring and observing symptoms of dehydration in your dog is very important as this will prompt you to take immediate action. They include the following:-
- Rapid heartbeat and heavy panting
- Trouble breathing and agitation
- Dark or red gums and tongue
- Dizziness and weakness
- Excess and thickened salivating (drooling)
If you see any of the above signs, take your dog to a veterinarian right away.
4. Utilize dog cooling products
There are plenty of products that can help in keeping your dog cool. They include the following:-
- Dog cooling vest: Important for outdoor activities. All you need to do is soak with cold water, wring out excess and wear it on your dog.
- Cooling dog toys: Feel the toys with water, freeze and give to your furry friends to have fun as they get cooled.
- Dog water sprinkler: They are designed to sprinkle water when a dog step on them. Place it in your backyard and let your pet enjoy the water fountain.
- Dog swimming pool: This is a foldable dog pool where she can swim and play. It is potable and can be places anywhere you like.
- Dog pool float: You can let your dog enjoy a cool pool floating during the sunny day. Other than entertaining your dog, it also helps in checking her temperature while outdoor.
- Cooling dog bowl: You should have this when planning to spend outdoor with your canine friend. The bowl has a removable freezer pack that can keep drinking water cool.
- Dog cooling pad: They are a must for long car rides or generally outdoor relaxing. The mat is made with a special foam that absorbs body heat thus keeping the body cool.
- Cooling bed: This is a special orthopedic bed that has a cooling effect on your dog. It has a lining and washable covers. It is very useful when the temperatures are high at night.
- Cooling collar: It works like a cooling vest although it contain a pocket where you place ice. During hot weather, it evaporates carrying with it body heat.
5. Proper Grooming
Bathe you dog, brush, and cut matted fur. Clean the paws, eyes, ears and trim long nails. Do not completely shave or clip the hair coat. Other than protecting your dog during cold seasons, hair also protects the scorching sun rays from directly striking.
During hot weather conditions, most dogs suffer from various skin conditions such as hot spots. Dogs respond by scratching or licking. This should not happen if you properly groom your pet. To keep infections and infestations at bay, you should also visit a vet.
6. Check pavement temperature
Pavements usually attract and keep heat for longer hours. This worsens during high temperatures of the day. Most people forget about the uncovered dog paws when they go strolling outside. Pavements can burn her paws and leave her sustaining injuries without your knowledge.
It is therefore important to check on the pavements and establish if they are safe to walk on them. Dogs also sweat through the paws and walking on the heated pavements can lead to massive water loss from the body. This can cause hydration or heat stroke.
7. Proper care of vulnerable dogs
Some types of dogs and puppies are at high risk as compared to others. Snub-nosed and short muzzled breeds such as pugs or bulldog may experience breathing problems when temperature soars. Puppies also have underdeveloped mechanisms of dealing with heat. You should therefore keep an eye on such cases.
Hot weather temperatures during summer or sunny days can be dangerous to both humans and pets. While you try to keep yourself cool, also remember your furry friends who are at risk of dehydration or heat stroke. Keep them cool and in case of any doubt, visit a vet.