We’re starting to make our way into the dog days of summer, when having all that extra fur starts to backfire on man’s best friend. You and your dog will still want to get out and enjoy the outdoors when you can, but extra vigilance is required to make sure your dog is staying safe in the summer heat. These tips can also apply to dog owners; take some time to organize a group of friends and their four-legged counterparts for some safe summer play dates!
1. Keep plenty of cool water available
Make sure you have a few different water bowls available, and keep them in the shade so they can help cool your dog down when they need a drink. Kiddie pools in the shade are great if you don’t mind a wet dog, and sprinklers help keep your lawn healthy, your dog cool, and they are also a lot of fun for many dogs to run through. One thing to watch out for is dogs drinking water too fast: they can tend to gulp in a lot of air if they are drinking quickly for a long time, and that can cause stomach bloating. Bloating can lead to cramps, diarrhea, and serious health problems if it is a frequent problem. Keep your dog hydrated, but try not to let them gulp down too much water too quickly after being out in the heat.
2. Avoid peak heat, and keep an eye on them
Just like if you are going to exercise outdoors in the summer, you probably want to avoid the hottest part of the day when you take your dog outside. That means you should try to not spend too much time in the sun between the hours of 11:00 AM through 4:00 PM. If your dog does need to be outside during that time, try to limit their exposure, make sure they have shade, and don’t get them running around too much. Dogs can overheat very quickly, especially if they are playing hard or running. Make sure you are keeping a close eye out, and watch for excessive panting, vomiting, or other signs of heat stroke.
3. Get them groomed
One of the best ways to keep your dog from suffering during the summer months is to get them groomed. If they have a big, fluffy coat, you may want to consider getting them shaved; getting them at least a coat trimming will help them beat the heat. If you don’t want to spring to have them professionally groomed, make sure you are brushing them frequently to help remove excess fur and skin dander that can drive up body temperatures. Ask your vet if they think your dog should get a summer haircut.
You and your dog can work together to beat the heat this summer! Since they’re going to be spending more time indoors with the air conditioning, make sure to keep a supply of a pet stain/odor eliminator like Bio-nihilator on hand to help take care of any accidents that might occur.