Close this search box.
Home SAFETY TIPS & ADVICEDog Summer Care Summer Safety: Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool and Comfortable

Summer Safety: Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool and Comfortable

by Bella Woof
Dog Summer

Summer Safety: Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool and Comfortable

As summer arrives, it brings along warm weather and longer days, inviting us to spend more time outdoors. While it may be enjoyable for us, our furry companions can struggle to cope with the heat and may be at risk of heatstroke or other heat-related illnesses. It is crucial to prioritize their safety and take necessary precautions to ensure they stay cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. This article aims to provide you with essential tips to help keep your dog safe and healthy this summer.

1. Provide Ample Shade and Fresh Water
Just like us, dogs need a cool and shady spot to retreat to when the sun is scorching. Ensure that your yard has enough shade throughout the day, whether it be natural shade from trees or artificial shade provided by canopies or umbrellas. If your dog stays indoors, make sure there are cool and ventilated areas inside where they can relax.

Moreover, access to fresh and cool water is vital in preventing dehydration. Keep multiple water bowls filled with clean and cold water around the house and when outdoors. Frequently refill them to ensure your dog always has access to a drink.

2. Avoid Exercise during Peak Hours
Exercising is essential for your dog’s overall wellbeing, but during summer, it’s important to adjust the timing of their activities. The hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM, should be avoided for strenuous exercise. Dogs can quickly get overheated during these hours, increasing the risk of heatstroke.

Instead, plan walks or play sessions during the cooler early morning or late evening hours when the temperature is milder. Pavements or asphalt can get extremely hot, so it’s crucial to check the ground temperature before taking your dog for a walk. Place your hand on the pavement for a few seconds; if it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s sensitive paw pads.

3. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car
One of the most important summer safety rules is to never leave your dog unattended in a parked car. Even on mildly warm days, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket within minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Dogs can suffer from heatstroke or even die in just a short amount of time.

If you must run errands, it’s best to leave your dog at home in a cool and comfortable environment. If you come across a dog locked inside a parked car on a hot day, try to locate the owner or contact animal control immediately.

4. Help Them Cool Down
There are various ways to cool your dog down during hot summer days. One effective method is to wet their fur with a hose or provide a shallow kiddie pool filled with cool water, allowing them to splash and soak. Another option is to put a damp towel on your dog’s back and neck to help them regulate body temperature.

Dog-specific cooling products, such as cooling vests, mats, or collars, can also provide relief. These items are designed to regulate body temperature by absorbing and releasing heat.

5. Take Extra Care for Brachycephalic Breeds
Brachycephalic breeds, or dogs with short muzzles and flat faces like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boxers, are particularly susceptible to heatstroke. Their shortened airways and restricted breathing can make it harder for them to cool down effectively.

Monitor these breeds closely during summer and provide extra care. Ensure they have access to shade and cool areas at all times. Also, consider keeping them in air-conditioned environments, as these breeds are more prone to overheating.

6. Be Mindful of Hot Surfaces
As mentioned earlier, pavement and asphalt can become scorching hot during summer days. Walking your dog on these surfaces can cause severe burns to their paw pads. To protect them, opt for walks on grass, shaded areas, or invest in dog boots that provide insulation against hot ground.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that other surfaces, such as metal equipment at parks or the bed of a truck, can also become excessively hot. Always check the surfaces before allowing your dog to touch or sit on them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1: What are the signs of heatstroke in dogs?
A: Heatstroke in dogs can be life-threatening, so identifying the signs early is crucial. Symptoms may include excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, weakness, collapse, or even seizures. If you suspect heatstroke, immediately move your dog to a cooler area, wet their body with cool water, and contact your veterinarian.

Q2: Are certain dog breeds more prone to heatstroke?
A: Yes, some breeds are more prone to heatstroke due to their physical characteristics. Brachycephalic breeds, as mentioned earlier, are at a higher risk due to their restricted airflow. Additionally, dogs with thick coats, older dogs, overweight dogs, and those with underlying health conditions are also more susceptible.

Q3: Can I shave my dog’s coat to keep them cool?
A: It’s best to consult your veterinarian before shaving your dog’s coat. Contrary to popular belief, a dog’s coat actually helps insulate them and protects their skin from the sun’s rays. While regular grooming to remove excess hair and prevent matting is recommended, completely shaving some breeds can disrupt their natural cooling system. Ask your vet for advice specific to your dog’s breed and coat type.

Q4: Can I use sunscreen on my dog?
A: Dogs can indeed suffer sunburns, especially those with short or light-colored fur. Using sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs is a good idea, particularly on exposed areas like the nose, ears, and belly. Avoid using sunscreen containing zinc oxide, as it can be toxic if ingested by your dog.

Q5: How can I prevent my dog from drinking unsanitary water?
A: Dogs can be prone to drinking from ponds, lakes, or other standing water sources during walks or outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, these water sources can harbor harmful bacteria, parasites, or toxins. To prevent your dog from drinking unsanitary water, always carry fresh water with you and discourage them from drinking from unknown sources. Training commands like “leave it” or “drop it” can also be helpful.

By following these essential summer safety tips, you can ensure that your furry friend stays cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. Remember, just like humans, dogs are susceptible to heat-related illnesses, so it’s important to closely monitor them and take preventative measures to keep them safe. Enjoy your summer adventures with your beloved companion, knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep them happy and healthy.

You may also like

Leave a Comment