Dogs are versatile, adaptable animals that are usually happy-go-lucky creatures that are usually up for anything. So you can imagine that when the temperatures climb and your dog is looking a little under the weather, you might be a tad concerned.
Fret not. It might simply be due to the rising temperatures on the horizon. Just like humans, dogs get lazy and lethargic, especially in hot weather. Can you imagine walking around in the summer’s heat with a fur coat all day? Worse yet, TWO fur coats?
Double coated dogs don’t do very well with the temperatures. Breeds like the Siberian Husky and the Great Pyrenees were meant to live outdoors in cold temperatures, and being in the heat can wreak havoc on their systems.
With some help from us devoted dog owners, they can cope with the heat a tad better. Here are some tips for giving your dog a hand.
Make Them Drink Plenty Of Water
Having fresh water on hand all the time is crucial to their health. Make sure that the water bowls are spread generously everywhere in the house, and kept out of direct sunlight. Even better, freeze a bowl every once in a while and let them lick on the ice. As a bonus, when the ice melts, they’ll have cold water for hours!
A dehydrated dog is not a happy one. If your pooch isn’t drinking enough, here are some tricks to make him rehydrate.
Have Some Water Time
If you can, bring your dog to the beach or lake for a game of fetch and some water time. Not only will it be a fantastic way to cool off on a hot day, but your pooch will also get some valuable cardio exercise.
If you have the luxury of space, you can install a small, shallow doggy pool in your yard. Nothing beats a hot summer’s day like some fun in the water. You won’t even have to watch your dog too much, the way you’ll have to if you are using a regular human pool or going out to the lake or beach.
Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car!
It’s a hot summer day and you’ve just arrived at the mall. You quickly run into the store, telling your dog to stay put. But when you come back out, you find that your car has been broken into and your dog is gone.
Unfortunately, stories like this are all too common. Every year, thousands of dogs are stolen from cars, often by opportunistic thieves who see an easy target.
And even if your dog isn’t stolen, leaving them in a hot car can be dangerous – or even deadly. Dogs can only sweat through their paws and noses, so they rely on panting to cool down. However, when it’s hot outside, this isn’t sufficient to keep them cool.
As a result, they can quickly become dehydrated or overheat. So next time you’re heading out, leave your furry friend at home where they’ll be safe and comfortable.
Time Your Walks
Walkies are the greatest thing, but when the temperatures are too hot, both you and your pooch might be more comfortable if you only go for a walk in the early mornings and the evenings.
Try to avoid the hottest time of the day which is the late mornings to late afternoons. Also, make sure the surface of the ground is not too hot for your pooch. To test the temperature of the surface, hold the back of your hand against the ground. If you cannot comfortably hold your hand there for more than 5 seconds, it’s way too hot.
As a general rule, if you cannot walk barefoot on the ground, it is too hot for your pooch. Also try sticking to trail and soft grass instead of hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt that can severely heat up in the sun.
Watch Out For Dehydration and Heat-Related Illnesses
Dehydration is the first step towards other heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion. If left untreated and exacerbated by activity, these conditions can escalate into heatstroke, a serious and potentially fatal condition.
As any dog owner knows, our furry friends need plenty of fresh water to stay healthy and hydrated. But sometimes, due to hot weather, vigorous exercise, or illness, dogs can become dehydrated.
Dehydration can cause a number of problems for dogs, including decreased energy levels, dry skin and nails, and constipation. In more severe cases, it can lead to heatstroke or kidney failure. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of dehydration in dogs so that you can take action if your pet starts to show signs of dehydration.
The most common symptoms include excessive panting, lethargy, dry mouth and nose, sunken eyes, and increased thirst.
Note that some dogs are more prone to getting heat-related illnesses than others. Dogs like Malamutes, Huskies, and German Shepherds that are bred for cold weather often have thick double-coats and might struggle to cool themselves down.
In addition, dogs with short muzzles and flat faces like Pugs, Boxers, and French Bulldogs also should be limited in their exercise, especially during the hottest times of the day. These dogs, called brachycephalic dogs, often have respiratory problems that can be exacerbated by extreme heat.
Summer is a fun time that can be enjoyed by everyone! With these tips, you can enjoy the season with your canine best buddy and keep the both of you safe. Have a good summer!