Like humans, dogs will also feel discomfort when exposed to too much heat. That’s why keeping your furry friend cool during summer is so important.
Most dogs will stay active and healthy even under the summer heat, for as long as they are under a shade and you give them easy access to fresh drinking water. Otherwise, your dog will be at high risk of suffering from heatstroke.
But there are also certain breeds of dogs that would prefer hotter climates. Nevertheless, giving your pet some tender loving care during summer is extremely important, regardless of their breed.
Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or not, you can benefit from these summer dog care tips. If you follow these tips, your furry friends will stay safe and healthy when playing under the sun.
1. Avoid the Heat of the Day
Find out what the weather is or the current temperature of the day before you go out with your pet.
This might be different from one country to another, but the temperature is generally at its peak between the early and mid-afternoon.
So, schedule your outing and other outdoor activities early in the morning or late in the evening, when the sun isn’t as strong and the heat is bearable.
2. Bring Fresh Water with You
When taking your pet for a hike or if you just want to play with it in your backyard, make sure you prepare plenty of fresh, cold water. The water should be easily accessible to your pet.
If taking your pet for a walk, carry a portable and collapsible water bowl from which your dog can easily drink. A squirt bottle will also work well.
Feed your pet with a small amount of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your walk. Make sure you have enough water that will last the entire duration of your hike. For longer trips, be sure to pack all these up in a dog backpack carrier.
3. Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car
Leaving your pet alone in your hot car can have fatal consequences. Even if your car is parked under the shade and you leave the windows open, this can make your pet feel uncomfortable and distressed.
If you’re taking your dog with you in the car, don’t ever leave it alone when you get off. And if you come across a dog that’s left alone in a hot car, call the authorities immediately.
4. Help Your Dear Fido Lose Weight
Dogs that are overweight tend to have a hard time staying cool in summer and are therefore at high risk of overheating. So, help your dog to lose weight and achieve the ideal body weight.
But some dogs have medical conditions that will make it difficult for them to lose weight. Talk to your pet’s vet for advice on a safer and healthier way for them to shed the excess weight off.
For dietary options, there are dog foods that are made especially for losing weight.
5. Apply Sun Cream to Your Pooch
Dogs are also at risk of sunburn if they linger long under the sun without any protection. This is especially common on dogs with light color and those with a thin coating.
Thankfully, there are now plenty of sun cream products that are specially formulated for dogs. You can also ask advice from a vet for the best sun cream to use for your dog.
6. Swim with Your Dog
One way to keep your dog cool in summer is to play with your pooch in the water.
Veterinary experts would suggest that pet owners should organize outdoor summer activities with their pet that involves water play. You can play at the pool, use sprinklers, or take your pet to swim at the lake.
When you’re in the water, throw a stick, and have your pet swim towards it to fetch it. This can help to lower your dog’s body temperature and help him feel better despite the heat of the summer. Just don’t forget to bring some towels to dry your pet off after.
7. Don't Shave the Coat
Your dogs might look funny with a fluffy coat on, but this is beneficial for them especially in summer. The coat can help them to cool off in the heat.
Of course, it can also help them to stay warm during the cold winter. During summer, the thick coat can also prevent your pet from getting sunburn. So instead of shaving the coat off, simply brush it regularly to make them look good.
8. Make Sure Your Dog Sweats
Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat across their skin if they feel hot. Thus, they cannot benefit from the “evaporative cooling” that we humans have.
Dogs will cool themselves through their respiratory system and this is the reason why they would pant if they feel hot.
When the coat evaporates, it will help to move the heat from the dog’s body and into the environment.
9. Use a Window Fan
The breeze can make the summer heat more tolerable for your pet. Simply install a window fan at your patio or in any area where your dog is staying.
You can also have a fan installed at your wall. The breeze that the fan produces can be especially helpful in making your dog stay cool during summer.
10. Put Your Dog Under Shade
One of the best ways to protect your dog from the harmful rays of the sun is to grow trees in your backyard.
But if it’s not possible to grow trees in your yard for some reason, you can use portable sunshades in the form of patio umbrellas or pop-up canopies. These are great at providing shade in your yard without having to occupy a lot of space.
Keeping your dog cool during summer is very important since dogs are prone to fatal heatstroke.
Of course, keeping your dog cool can also make them feel happy and healthy. As a pet owner, the last thing we want is for our dogs to get sick and depressed.
So, when the temperatures start to rise, follow the tips above to help keep your furry friends safe while having fun under the summer sun.
About the Author
Pete Decker is the lead editor at TheGoodyPet.com. For the past 20 years, Pete has been working professionally with dogs, and he has spent time volunteering in animal shelters across the USA and around the world. Now, Pete dedicates his time towards TheGoodyPet, a pet educational website made by pet lovers for pet lovers.
You can find more from Pete on his website or by following TheGoodyPet on Twitter or Facebook.