Summer is approaching! The furry balls and their owners are all set to get off from their warm couch and out in the sunshine to feel a gentle breeze. But venturing on your summer jaunts can take a toll on your dog’s health. Dogs do not sweat as people do. They cool themselves through panting which is not enough when there is only hot air to breathe. It is, therefore, very difficult to keep them cool during the summer months. Before you start your summer venture with your canine buddy, read on to learn ten important tips for keeping your dog safe this summer.
Special Summer Treats!
Weather changes bring a change in your diet and appetite. Pets experience this change too. Therefore, feed your pet the foods which are great to be consumed during the hot weather. Watermelon, melon, cucumber, yogurt, buttermilk, coconut water, mangoes, blueberries, mint leaves, and leafy vegetables are the best dog foods that keep your dog cool and hydrated in summers.
Alternatively, you can buy commercial dog treats for hot months. Most dogs love Pupsicles, frozen Kongs, frozen banana bites, fruit freezes, and cantaloupe ice creams. Anything you can make at home in an ice-cube tray will make your dog grateful to you for a lifetime.
The blazing sun can make surfaces like metal, asphalt, sand, and sometimes concrete too, really hot. Such surfaces not only burn feet but also raise body temperatures. Dogs have sensitive feet which can lead to overheating if you allow them to walk on a hot surface.
So, avoid letting your dog walk on high-temperature surfaces, especially during the hottest days of the summer. If your buddy loves getting out during day times in summer, get him some summer shoes for dogs. Do not forget to take care of their paws all around the year.
Provide Access to Water and Shade
Dogs, just like us, lose water with sweat. They can lose up to one-liter water per day, mainly through the glands on their paw pads. It makes their blood thick. It leads to sickness and other dog health issues. Therefore, you must provide him access to fresh and cold water all the time during the summer months.
Moreover, try to keep your dog in the shade whether you are working in your garden or enjoying the beach. Most pets enjoy sunbathing, but on hot summer days, it should never be allowed. Direct sunlight can cause heatstroke by overheating the body. Shade or shelter will keep them from sunburn and excessive sweating.
Get Rid of the Dog Parasites
Apart from hot weather and juicy fruits, summers bring a whole lot of fleas, ticks, mites, mosquitoes, and other insect parasites. These insects carry many kinds of parasites which can put your pets at risk. It is, therefore, important to take preventive measures to protect your dog from such parasites.
The guidelines regarding the treatment and prevention of parasitic infections in dogs depend upon the climate in which you live. Consult your dog’s vet to take proper measures and medications. For outdoor visits, use a pet-safe bug repellent to keep annoying insects away from your furry fellow.
Do Not Shave Your Dog
Like many pet owners, you may believe it is best to shave your dog in the summer. In some cases, it is! But in others, it is best to avoid including shaving in your dog’s summer care routine. Dogs’ fur is a natural insulator. It keeps them warm in winters and cool in summers.
You should trim your dog’s coat but never shave it. It keeps your dog protected from sunburn, flies, and mosquito bites. Shaving makes dogs feel vulnerable and naked. Therefore, it can lead to anxiety or other behavioral issues in dogs.
Never Leave the Dog in the Car
Never think that leaving water in the car and keeping the window open is enough to keep your dog safe from overheating. A car left in the sun is no less than an oven in the summer months. The temperatures inside a parked car can elevate up to 80°C more than the outside temperature.
Never leave your dog in the car parked in the sun. Otherwise, it can literally turn into hell for the poor fellow as he would suffer from overheating and heatstroke.
Dogs who love playing in the water, naturally love it even more during the summer months. It keeps them cool and hydrated. This summer, get your dog a small-sized pool so that he can splash around and play. If your dog is reluctant to get in the water, encourage him to get wet and cool down. You should keep in mind, that not all dogs are good swimmers.
Moreover, strong tides and currents can sweep a dog far from the shore. So, before letting your dog swim in a large water body or even in a pool, make sure he is wearing a bright-colored vest.
Protect Your Dog from Sunburn
Dogs are as susceptible to painful sunburns and skin cancer as humans are. Some breeds have a natural tendency to survive in hot weather while some are more affected by the sun. Hairless breeds, light-colored pets, and pets with thin fur are at a greater risk for sunburn.
Regardless of these factors, all dogs can get sunburn in areas like the nose, face, belly, and ears. Provide your dog a shade and apply sunscreen to his body whenever you take him outside. Especially cover those areas of his body with sunscreen which are more susceptible to overheating.
Set the Exercise Routine
Let your dog exercise only in the early morning and late evening hours of hot summer days. Never take him out during the midday. Carry all physical activities in a shaded area. Keep a water bottle for your dog during such activities. Avoid strenuous exercises and keep your pet hydrated while playing. Select a route for the routine walk that is covered with shades or trees.
Provide Comfort Inside the House
Keep the windows of your house screened. It may hinder ventilation but keeps your dog from jumping out in hot weather. Moreover, if the weather gets too hot for your dog, keep him in an air-conditioned room. Cool bedding is another great way to keep your dog comfortable in summer.
Many options are available, especially electric cooling beds, elevated beds, and beddings with a cooling gel layer. Follow these tips and make your home a more comfortable place for your dog!
Watch Out for Dehydration Symptoms
Most dogs become dehydrated by sweating excessively in hot weather or losing fluids through panting and urinating. If you see the following symptoms, your dog needs to be rehydrated.
- Dry gums
- Dry nose
- Thick saliva
- Sunken eyes
- Less elasticity in the skin.
Heatstroke is another serious condition and can prove fatal in extreme cases. You should watch for its signs and symptoms before it gets too late. Initial signs include;
- Heavy panting
- Rapid breathing
- Dry nose
- Dry gums
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Difficulty maintaining balance
When the degree of damage is too high, watch for;
- White tongue
- Blue gums
- Unable to move the body
- Uncontrollable urination or defecation.
- Labored breathing
Apart from following the aforementioned tips, always watch out for the signs and symptoms of sickness and discomfort in your dog. It helps you in taking the right measures at the right times. We hope you have found ways to make this summer a happy and cool venture for your dog!