Dog Days of Summer: How To Keep Your Pets Cool
July 20, 2022
Summer is in full swing, but long days at the beach or lounging by the pool can be dangerous for your furry best friend. Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, making it more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature on the hottest of days. Read on for tips we’ve compiled to help cool down your dog, as well as how to identify signs of heat stroke in pets.
- Keep them hydrated- Dogs need more water in the summer, especially if their diet includes dry food like kibble. Set up extra water stations around the house, and if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure their outdoor water stays cold by adding a few ice cubes to their bowl. And always bring a travel bowl if you take your pet to the beach or the dog park.
- Provide a frozen treat- In addition to helping cool down your pooch, dogs love the stimulation from frozen toys and treats. Fill a Tupperware with water, place one of your pet’s favorite toys inside, and freeze overnight. Pop the frozen block out and give to your dog for outdoor play. For a super special treat, recipes like dog-safe ice cream can be made with ingredients you already have in your pantry. Try filling an ice cube tray with pureed pumpkin and popping it in the freezer for your furry friend.
- Walk Your Dog in the Morning or Evening- It is important for dogs to get exercise in the summer, but be mindful of the time of day you take your pet to the park or around the neighborhood for a walk. Like people, dogs are at the greatest risk for getting heat stroke when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, between noon and 4 PM. Try to keep walks confined to grassy areas; in high heat, pavement can be 40 to 60 degrees hotter than the air temperature, putting your pet at risk of getting burns on the pads of their feet.
- Keep Dogs Indoors, and Never Leave a Pet in the Car- Never leave a pet unattended in the car in hot weather, even with windows down. The best place for a dog to be during the day is inside, preferably with air conditioning or fans running. If your home does not have air conditioning, always leave windows open for your pet, and consider investing in cooling items such as an elevated dog bed or pet crate fan.
- Know the Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs- Some panting is normal for dogs in the heat, as this is one of their body’s mechanisms for cooling down. However, it is a good idea to contact your vet if your dog is displaying the following signs or behavior:
-Vomiting/and or diarrhea
-Loss of consciousness or uncoordinated movement
For a full list of symptoms of heat stroke in pets, visit: Heat Stroke in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment | Veterinary Emergency Group
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