Make the dog days of summer fun and safe for your pup by following these tips.
No one likes excessive heat, and dogs are no exception. But while you have the choice to crank up the air conditioning or pour yourself a large glass of your favorite drink when feeling overheated, dogs have to make do with the surroundings in which they find themselves.
So when it comes to the hot weather in summer months, it's important that you do your part to help keep your pup cool.
Here are five tips to help your pet beat the heat.
1. Don't leave your dog in a parked car.
Though it may seem obvious that dogs and other pets should not be left in parked cars, people continue to make this terrible mistake. According to Karen Emerson, owner of Emerson Animal Hospital, the temperature in a parked car can climb from 20 to 30 degrees higher within the first ten minutes, which can kill a pet by heat stroke very quickly.
Even if you think you'll only be gone a short while, when temperatures can rise this quickly, a short while may be too long. Don't risk it.
2. Choose cooler times to exercise your dog.
If you want to exercise with your pet in the summer, like jogging with your dog, choose a cooler time to do so, like early morning or evenings, rather than the peak heat of the day.
It may be less convenient and require waking up before the sun rises, or staying up later, but it could prevent you pet from overheating, and maybe even save his life.
3. Consider shaving your dog's coat for the summer.
There are differing opinions on shaving dogs in the summer, but whether you should or not comes down to the breed of your dog. Dogs with thin coats should not be shaved, because their natural summer coat is designed to insulate them from the heat and protect them from sunburn.
However, through the years humans have bred dogs with thicker fur coats, and some of these dogs may need a little help in the summer by having their coats trimmed shorter for the hottest months. If you do choose to shave your dog, you should always leave about an inch of hair to protect them from sunburn.
4. Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water.
Just like humans, dogs drink more water when it's hot out. Whether your dog stays in the house or in the yard, or whether you're taking him on a hike or to play in the park, make sure he always has the ability to drink cool water. Tip: Put ice cubes in the water bowl to chill it quicker and that the dog can munch on.
A bottle of water and a collapsible bowl are easy to throw in a bag or purse, and your dog will thank you for it. You can also wrap wet towels around your dog's neck to cool him down. Or a kiddie pool filled with cold water is the perfect way to keep your dog cool!
5. If you keep your dog outdoors, make sure he has access to a shady area.
Some dogs are house dogs, but for the ones that aren't, it is vital that they have a way to get out of the sun. A dog house (preferably with good ventilation), shade screen, or good old-fashioned tree will do the trick.
Heat can be rough, but following these tips will help ensure that your pup has a safe and healthy summer, and will be able to enjoy the cooler months ahead.
What do you do to keep your pet cool in the summer heat? Share your tips in the comments below.
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