It is going to be a scorcher this summer, and the family dog is itching to get out in the sun and play. Before you subject your best friend to the outdoor heat, you will want to be sure you have thought out how to keep your dog cool. Remember, dogs do not have sweat glands all over their body like humans do, so when they pant, this is their primary method of cooling down. Consequently, it helps to have a plan for helping your dog remain cool during the hot summer days. Here are a few tips to help you make sure your dog does not get overheated.
If Your Dog Shows Signs of Heat Stroke
When your dog has been running around in the hot summer sun, they may start panting extremely hard, vomit, have diarrhea, or exhibit an overly increased heart rate while showing signs of disorientation. Chances are your dog is experiencing a mild to serious case of heat stroke. It is vital that you help your dog to cool down fast, but not too fast. Providing your dog cool water to drink and covering their coat with a towel soaked in cool water can help to bring their overall temperature down. Just make sure not to use ice cold water. The goal is to reduce their temperature slowly to not create further problems for your dog. Helping your dog find a hard, cool tile floor to lay on in front of a fan will also help matters along.
Bring the Dog Inside
It only stands to reason that your dog is not going to tolerate the extreme summer heat quite as well as you might. For this reason, it is generally best to bring your dog inside during the hottest summer days. The action of the inside AC will help to keep your dog as comfortable on a hot day as it keeps the rest of the family. Additionally, this will prevent your dog from being bothered by insects that are more active when it is hot outside.
Try the Pool
Swimming is a fun activity for most dogs who are not afraid of water. When introducing your dog to the idea of swimming in a pool, it may help to start them out in a kid's pool or the shallow end of the family pool. Once you are sure they are a capable swimmer, you will want to be aware of other safety concerns around the pool that will help to keep your dog safe and cool this summer.
Outfitting your dog with a life vest when swimming is one way to prevent your dog from accidentally drowning in the pool. It is important to also provide your dog with easy access out of the pool. The last thing you want is for your dog to become exhausted while swimming and be stuck with no way to get to dry ground for a much needed rest. This may require calling a professional to evaluate your pool and make adjustments. If you’re not sure who to choose, a simple google search for your area like “pool Portsmouth nh” can show you a bunch of options for pool builders and servicers.
It is also important to give your dog alternative sources of fresh water to prevent them from drinking chlorinated water. Rinsing your dog off after swimming is another good idea to remove any chlorine or other pool chemicals from their coat. Finally, it is a good idea to clean your dog’s ears out after a swim to prevent any sort of ear infection from occurring.
Proper Shade and Water
If your dog needs to be outside on a hot day, then you will want to make absolutely certain that your dog has adequate water and proper shade available. If the dog will be in the yard, then it is best to make sure that part of the dog's roaming space is covered with shade from large trees or a covering of some type like an outdoor dog tent. Alternatively, your dog may appreciate the comfort of a covered porch and a few pieces of ice in their water bowl for good measure. At the very least, this will help their water stay cooler longer.
With the summer heating up, you will want to be concerned with your dog's need to remain cool and free from heat-related health problems. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to help your dog remain cool when hot temperatures are an issue. From proper shading to bringing your dog inside to enjoy the air conditioning at your feet, know that your dog will appreciate any reasonable steps you take to ensure the heat does not get too much for them to bear.