Dogs can be susceptible to heat and may need some extra care during the summer months. Here are some ways to help your dog feel cooler in the summer heat:
- Provide Ample Shade: Create shaded areas in your yard or outdoor space where your dog can escape from direct sunlight. Use umbrellas, canopies, or provide access to a covered porch or shaded trees.
- Fresh Water: Ensure your dog always has access to fresh and cool water. Consider placing multiple water bowls in different locations, and change the water frequently to keep it cool.
- Cooling Mats or Beds: Invest in a cooling mat or bed designed specifically for dogs. These products are often made with cooling gel or materials that can help regulate your dog’s body temperature.
- Limit Exercise in the Heat: Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day. Schedule walks or playtime in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Be mindful of your dog’s energy levels and signs of overheating.
- Frozen Treats: Prepare frozen treats for your dog to enjoy. You can make dog-friendly popsicles by freezing diluted chicken or beef broth or blend frozen fruits with water and pour into ice cube trays.
- Wet Towels or Bandanas: Wet a towel or bandana with cool water and drape it over your dog’s body or around their neck. The evaporating water will help keep them cool. Alternatively, you can use cooling vests or bandanas designed for dogs.
- Paw Protection: Hot surfaces like asphalt or sand can burn your dog’s paws. Walk your dog on grass or shaded areas, and consider using dog booties or paw balms to protect their feet.
- Limit Car Travel: Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car, as temperatures can rise rapidly and become dangerously hot. If you must travel with your dog, use air conditioning or keep the windows open for proper ventilation.
- Grooming: Regularly brush your dog’s coat to remove excess fur and prevent matting. However, avoid shaving their coat too short, as it can provide protection from the sun. Consult your veterinarian or a professional groomer for guidance on appropriate summer grooming.
- Indoor Retreat: If it’s exceptionally hot outside, create a cool and comfortable indoor space for your dog. Keep the air conditioning on or use fans to provide airflow. Provide a comfortable bed or designated area where they can relax.
Remember, every dog is different, and certain breeds are more prone to heat-related issues. Pay attention to signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, lethargy, or drooling, and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. —Vita Daily