The temperature’s rising, and your dog starts to shed his winter coat. It’s summer time, and the perfect time to get out and about to play with our canine friends. However, with the high temperature comes some risks of overheating, particularly for dogs that have a heavy-coat such as Malamutes and Huskies.

For dogs with thick coats, they can still partake in outdoor activities, but keep in mind that anything above 65 degrees Fahrenheit can be considered too warm for them. To keep them healthy and safe this Summer, follow these five tips.

Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

Image by allisoncarmody

Watch Their Behavior

For starters, simply keep an eye on how they’re acting, because they’ll let you know if they’re too warm. Unlike humans, dogs only have sweat glands on their paws and noses, and they cool down by panting. If your pooch is panting harder than usual that might be one sign that they’re getting too hot.

Other indicators are searching for shade, and laying down during the middle of a walk. If either happen, give your dog a break in the shade so they have a chance to cool down before you head home.

Keep Their Outdoor Time Limited

On particularly hot days, only allow your dog outside to go to the bathroom, and that’s it. Forget about going on walks or at least keep the walks extremely short as it’ll be too easy for them to overheat. If you are bringing them with you anywhere, drive. Just don’t leave them in a parked car that isn’t on with air conditioning.

Switch Up Your Walk Routine

If you want to make sure your dog is still getting the exercise they need, despite the heat, change the time you usually walk. Instead of going out mid-day, for example, stick to the cooler hours, such as first thing in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set. And whatever you do, stick to walks rather than runs.

Another fun exercise activity, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon, would be to take them to a dog-friendly beach so they can go swimming in the water, or, at the very least, splash around in the surf. They’ll get some exercise while keeping cool in the water.

Keep Their Place Comfortable

While they are indoors, still take measures to make sure they’re staying cool. For example, if they sleep in a crate, put a fan in the room with them and remove any thick, heavy blankets. You can also take it a step further and get them a “cooling” bed. These beds, available at just about any pet store, can be filled with water, giving your pooch a cool place to rest.

Groom Your Dog

With their heavy fur coats, it’s more important than ever to keep your dogs groomed. Finding a pet wash is one way to do that. The pet wash can not only trim your dog’s long coat so their fur is a little less thick, but they can also shampoo and clean them, which will help with their shedding as well. At home, keep them groomed by regularly brushing their hair. While it may be tempting, never shave your heavy-coated dog. If their skin is exposed, it can cause more issues, like sunburn. Plus, while their coat is heavy, it does help regulate their temperature, both in the cold and heat.

Make Sure Your Dog Stays Hydrated

Since it is warmer outside and they are sweating more, albeit differently than humans do, offer more water to your canine friend in order to keep them hydrated. Another way to make sure they’re getting the water they need is to feed them ice cubes, which they may even see as a treat. Alternatively, freeze a bowl of water, that way it can melt over the course of the day into cold water (but if you do go this route, make sure to they’re getting enough water).

Heat can affect any dog, but it can particularly affect dogs with a whole bunch of fur. Since they can’t necessarily keep themselves cool all on their own, it’s up to you as a responsible pet owner to pay attention to how they’re acting and keep them as cool as possible.


Kayla MatthewsKayla Matthews is a pet-loving productivity blogger with a passion for animals and especially big dogs! To read more articles by Kayla you can follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or at

By Natalie Gomez on Jul 31, 2014 at 10:00 am 0 Comments

Gone are the old “kennels” that simply warehoused dogs while their “owners” were on vacation. Today’s pet lodging facilities, pet hotels, camps and resorts know that pet parents want their dogs to have fun while they’re away from home.

But with all the options out there how can you decide what is best for your dog? Frankly, anyone who tells you that their solution is the best for all dogs clearly doesn’t know all dogs, you know your dog better than anyone else. That said, there are still some questions to ask any pet care facility when determining which is best for your dog’s needs.

What can my dog do?

While you’re out of town having a great vacation, what fun will your dog be having? Ask what the facility does to keep your pet active and entertained. See if there are playgroups, individual play sessions, pools or other activities your dog will enjoy. If your dog is not the social type, be sure that there are activities that he will enjoy as well. You should expect to pay extra for these services, but they’re an important part of making your dog’s stay enjoyable.

Dogs swimming

Can my dog play outside?

It goes without saying that dogs need fresh air and what better way to get it than being outside playing. Your dog might not need acres and acres of land (and in many places that’s not even an option), but make sure there is enough outdoor play space for your dog to romp about. We once toured a facility that painted its ceiling blue and its floor green so that dogs would think they were outside. You’ve got to wonder how much they know about dogs if they thought a dog would fall for that trick!

Can I see where my dog will stay?

Ask to take a tour. Take a walk around the facility. You might not be able to walk everywhere (for both your safety and the safety of the other dogs there) but you should be able to see the place where your dog will play and the area (at least in general terms) where your dog will eat and sleep.

What can I leave with my dog?

Some dogs travel light, others like to be surrounded by their stuff. Now no pet care facility can handle all your dog’s belongings, but ask if you can bring a few favorites if you think that will make your dog feel more comfortable. Also check to see what the facility’s policy is on treats and food? Are you allowed to bring your own or must you use theirs.

Don’t expect a discount for bringing your own food. Because of the staff time involved, it’s generally more costly for a facility to prepare customized meals than it is to feed all dogs the same thing. Our dog has its favorite things from home. There are some things that are inappropriate to bring to a pet care facility, but there is no reason why no personal belongings should be allowed. Even if the pet care facility offers its own bedding and treats, you should be able to bring some things from home.

Dog Pumpkin Toy

How is my dog doing?

It’s your dog and you should be able to check in with the pet care facility to see how things are going. Ask if there are pictures posted on a website or Facebook page or if you can call or email to see how things are working out. Should you really have to pay extra for a phone call, an email update, or a picture of your dog?

Will my dog be safe?

First make sure that the facility asks you for your dog’s vaccination records. Sure, it’s a pain to keep up-to-date on all that, but you want to be sure that your dog is hanging out with healthy dogs. Make sure the facility was designed with safety in mind. There are the basics – good ventilation, heating and cooling – as well as making sure there is a sprinkler system. Are they prepared for the natural disasters common to your part of the country – whether that be earthquakes or hurricanes? If the facility is located in a relatively isolated area, ask if someone is on premises during the night.

Who’s in charge?

Is there someone who can make a decision about your dog without checking in with the corporate head office? Sure an owner might not be there every minute of every day but you want to know that there is a responsible person available without making a long distance call.

What is the staff like?

Does it look like the people who will be taking care of your pet are having fun at work and do they get along? Pet care is work, but it should also be fun and if they’re not having fun you’ve got to wonder if your pet will. Ask about the training of the people who will be caring for your pet. Are they well educated about pets and do they have any credentials to support that?

Can they accommodate your dog’s special needs?

Some dogs have special needs – either medical or social. Ask the facility if they’ve seen a dog with similar needs before and how they handled them.


What other services does the facility provide?

Many modern pet care facilities offer an array of programs designed to make the pet parent’s life easier. Consider transportation services too so you don’t need to spend time driving to the facility. Or perhaps training so you come home to a better behaved pooch? Definitely schedule a bath so you come home relaxed and your dog comes home smelling good.

As a pet parent you have many options, use the above questions as your guide to help you select the facility that will best meet the needs of you, your family and your dog!


Mark Klaiman has been owning and operating Pet Camp, a pet day care and hotel in San Francisco for over 15 years with his wife Virginia.
By Lauren Colman on Aug 05, 2013 at 6:00 am 1 Comments