Keeping Your Dog Cool During Hot Summer Days
Summer has arrived and the heat and humid temperatures are fast approaching. As humans who sweat and are active, we know just how uncomfortable it can be in high temperatures and try to keep ourselves cool by investing in fans, drinking water and seeking shade. But are we applying the same and reasonable techniques to keep our dogs cool?
Dogs, unlike us humans, don’t sweat in the same way or as much. They may sweat slightly through the pads of their paws and other small areas, and because they can’t release sweat as vigorously as we can, they pant to control their body temperature. This is why in hot and humid weather you will see dogs with their tongues hanging out and breathing heavily. However, panting isn’t always effective and sometimes as good pet owners, we need to take action and ensure our dog’s health, safety and wellbeing.
At this time of the year your beloved animal can suffer from dehydration, sunstroke, overheating and sunburn. Signs of the above are extreme heavy panting, obvious signs of discomfort, restlessness, vomiting and staggering movements.
I cannot stress the importance of providing water for your dog not just on hot days, but every day. It is an absolute must and in no way can be overlooked. Cool, fresh water that is ideally kept in a shaded area is the best. It’s necessary to check your dog’s water and refresh it a few times a day. Can you imagine drinking warm dirty water? You wouldn’t be too impressed and neither will your dog, not to mention how unhealthy it is.
Keep your dog cool.
It is also important to provide your dog with a comfortable shaded area. A roofed dog box is common, but can sometimes be too warm. Other options include a shaded area of the garden where the sun hasn’t hit, underneath a trampoline, table etc, or simply keep your dog in doors. Keeping your dog in the kitchen every so often can help to keep him cool as the kitchen is naturally a colder area in a house.
Exercising your dog every day is so important. In warm weather you may be discouraged to walk them, but do not prevail. Walking your dog early in the morning before the midday heat hits, and in the cool evenings and night time will keep him healthy, active and refreshed.
In warm weather, some animals may eat little due to discomfort or because their food has been spoiled by the heat. Whether your dog is eating or not, continue to provide him his usual food and ensure it’s kept cool and shaded.
As always, ensure that you keep your dog supervised in the heat and never leave them locked into cars, rooms or sheds. What may seem acceptable heat to you could be unbearable for your dog, so always ensure you are monitoring his behaviour and meeting his needs. You know your pet best and if you feel worried or are nervous about any strange behaviour, get professional advice as soon as possible. Providing for your animal should not be a chore, rather a pleasant experience and a very rewarding experience, creating a strong bond between owner and pet.