Keep your dog cool in this sweltering summer heat. This may help avoid consequences like dehydration, heatstroke, or even death as a result. From keeping your dog’s hair cut short to limiting the amount of time you let him spend outdoors, there are scads of simple ways you can keep your dog safe and cool this summer. Here are my top ten.
1. Provide your dog with unlimited access to clean water. Dogs need a lot of water during the summer to stay properly hydrated. If you want to keep your dog’s water cool and refreshing, consider dropping a few ice cubes into his water bowl.
2. Never leave your dog in a parked vehicle. Studies show the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rise to over 120 degrees within minutes. Not only is it unsafe to leave your dog alone in a parked vehicle, but in some states it is also illegal.
3. Keep your dog’s hair cut short during the summer. Dogs that sport thick coats during summer are at an increased risk of suffering heat exhaustion. By keeping your dog’s hair cut short, you prevent your dog from becoming overheated. You can choose to cut your dog’s hair yourself or take your dog to a professional groomer. If you decide to cut your dog’s hair by yourself, you are going to need to use extreme caution. Cutting away too much hair will leave your dog’s skin unprotected and open to the sun’s hot and harmful rays.
4. Pour cool water over your dog on a regular basis. Fill a jug or bucket with cool water and slowly pour it over your dog’s entire body. Pay special attention to your dog’s paws. Dogs sweat through their paws. Pouring water over your dog is one of the easiest ways you can keep your dog cool and safe when it’s hot outdoors.
5. Place your dog’s pen in a shady area outdoors. If your property doesn’t provide enough shade for your dog, you can always place a tarp or sheet over the top or along the side of the pen to provide shade.
6. Place a small pool in your dog’s pen. Not only will a small pool provide your dog with an additional supply of water, it will also allow your dog the opportunity to cool itself off. You can purchase a small pool for your dog at home and gardening stores. They usually don’t cost more than twenty dollars.
7. Avoid walking your dog in the afternoon. If you want to keep your dog cool and safely protected from the hot summer heat, consider walking your dog in the morning or at night when it’s relatively cooler.
8. Bring your dog indoors on extremely hot summer days and nights. If your dog is old or overweight, consider keeping Fido indoors permanently. Old and overweight dogs can’t handle the summer heat as well as young, healthy dogs.
9. Limit the amount of time you let your dog spend outdoors. Walking or exercising with your dog is a great way to control the amount of time you let your dog spend outdoors.
10. Apply sunscreen to your dog accordingly. Like humans, dogs can get sunburned. If your dog’s nose and ears are smooth or your dog’s coat is thin, you may need to apply sunscreen to your dog before you let it venture outdoors. You can purchase dog-friendly sunscreen at pet stores or at your holistic veterinarian’s office.