It’s summer time and on todays blog I am going to go over some tips to keep your pup safe and happy this summer. Summer time is always great because there’s so much you can do but the heat should be considered before doing anything with your dog.
#1 Walking Your Dog
Walking is such a great training and bonding activity to be able to do with our dogs. When it’s hot though there are things to keep in mind.
~Walk early in the morning or later at night when it tends to be cooler. Walking while it’s the hottest part of the day can cause heatstroke in dogs which can kill them, as well as burn their feet so bad they will need a trip to the vet.
~ Pavement and asphalt gets hot and while we don’t give it much thought because humans wear shoes outside to protect our feet our pups don’t and they are stepping right on the pavement. ALWAYS CHECK THE PAVEMENT/ASPHALT BEFORE WALKING WITH YOUR DOG. A simple way to do that is to walk outside on the pavement with your own bare feet. If it’s too hot for you it’s too hot for your pup. You can also check it with the back of your hand for 10 seconds or more. That will give you a good guide to how hot it is. But I find walking myself on the ground I plan to walk on gives me the best idea of how it feels for Bella.
~ If you must take your dog out during the hot parts of the day, like to take them out to potty, walk them on grass only or invest in a pair of booties to protect their feet. On 90 degree days asphalt can get as hot as 150 degrees!!!! Ouch! Can you imagine how much walking on that would hurt?
~ If you enjoy hiking with your dog make sure you do it early and I mean EARLY! Always make sure and bring plenty of water with you for your dog, take breaks and do not go during the warmer/hot time of the day. Every year on the news I see stories of people hiking with their dogs in 95 degree heat in the direct sun and let’s just say the dog doesn’t always make it home.
#2 Dogs in Cars
It is not okay to leave your dog in the car when it is warm or hot out. Cars are like ovens and the heat can kill your dog in a matter of minutes or cause serious damage to their brain and organs that they may never be able to recover from. You might think rolling down the windows or parking in the shade will help and it doesn’t. Hundreds of pets die each year from being left in the car when it’s hot out and the saddest part of that is it is the most preventable death that there is! On warm or hot days it’s safest to leave your dog at home.
~ According to the American Veterinary Medical Association when it’s 95 degrees out it can reach over 114 degrees in less than 10 minutes!
#3 Hair Cuts
Completely shaving down the pups may seem like a good idea, especially when it’s hot, but some dogs are not meant to be shaved. This goes for your cats too. A professional groomer will know what is an appropriate haircut for your pup or you can check with your vet and ask them what would be good for your dog. Dog and cat fur acts like an air conditioner when it’s hot and a heater when it’s cold. If their coat is cut too short it can mess with the dogs ability to cool themself off in summer and stay warm in winter.
#4 Being Careful In The Heat
Elderly, dark colored and flat faced dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke so limit their time out when it’s hot.
~ Flat faced dogs such as bulldogs, french bulldogs, pugs, etc are unable to pant effectively and panting is a cooling down mechanism for dogs.
~ Dark coated dogs will absorb heat much faster than light colored dogs so their time outside in direct sun needs to be limited.
~ Elderly pups just don’t work like they used to so it’s important to keep them cool as much as possible. This also goes for ill or immune compromised dogs.
#5 Find Ways to Cool Off
Home made dog safe pupsicles, cooling mats, a dip in the pool and more all help to keep our pups cool when it’s hot. Find ways to help cool your pups off and have fun in the process!
Bella and I love to take a day trip to the beach where it’s some times 30 degrees cooler than where we live. I also have a spray bottle with ice water to spray us both down with. Cold snacks like frozen blueberries or cold watermelon are her favorite. This summer I plan to make some pupsicles and other cool treats and will share them here on the blog so be on the look out for them.