Tips to Protect Your Pet From Overheating During the Dog Days of Summer

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As we approach summer, the weather is gradually getting hotter throughout the nation. While most people will happily embrace the warmer temperatures and the opportunity to spend time outdoors, the heat is not very friendly to your pets. In fact, it can be very dangerous for them. Their bodies just are not equipped to regulate their own temperature on extremely hot days. Luckily, you can easily help them stay cool on the hottest days of the year. These are the five best ways to help keep your dog from overheating this summer.

Provide Fresh Water

No matter what your dog is doing, they always need access to cool water. While this is generally not a concern at home, water access is commonly forgotten about when taking your dog outside of the house. Always carry a cool bottle of water for your dog (and yourself) when going to the park or taking a long walk around the neighborhood. You will also need a portable bowl to make drinking easier for them.

Provide Cooling Options

The most obvious sign that your dog is starting to overheat is excessive panting. Once this starts to happen, then you need to find a way to cool them off fast. Taking them inside to sit next to a fan with the air condition running is a great option. You can also set up a cooling pool in the backyard for them. The water will quickly cool off your dog while also giving them a new place to play this summer.

Though it’s not talked about as often, your pets can also overheat while indoors. If the air conditioning is not working or if there is poor airflow in some areas of your home, your once comfortable home can quickly become stifling. Before the weather gets too hot have your air conditioner looked at to ensure that it is cooling as it should. You will likely also need to change out the air filter, especially if your dog sheds a lot, to ensure that you’re getting proper airflow.

Trim Their Fur

A lot of dog breeds have thick coats of hair or fur. While this fur may give your dog its signature look, it also keeps their body temperature up in the summer. Give your dog some relief by trimming their fur as short as possible. Because cutting a dog's fur is a complicated process, it’s a good idea to take them to a professional groomer. In addition to keeping your dog from overheating, the grooming also yields the added benefit of reducing their shedding.

Take Plenty of Breaks

Dogs of all ages need to spend time playing outside. They can get bored, complacent, and restless if they are stuck inside all day. Playing with your dog is guaranteed to be a good time, but you need to take it easy on hot days. Dogs will rarely want to stop playing even if they are completely exhausted. It is up to you to enforce regular breaks. Once they start to look a little tired, it is time to go inside to cool off. You can always go play again later in the day.

Summer is a time for fun, but you still need to be careful with your own health and the health of your pets. To keep your dogs from overheating, keep these steps in mind. Keeping your dog cool and hydrated ensures that the two of you can get back to having fun this summer.

About the Author: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
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