Taking your dog for walks and playing outside are great ways to keep him healthy and active. However, during the summer months, it’s essential to ensure that your dog doesn’t become overheated while enjoying the great outdoors. If a dog can’t dissipate enough heat by panting, the core body temperature rises. This can lead to heatstroke, which may cause health complications and even death. However, by taking a few precautions, pet parents can keep their dogs healthy and comfortable all summer long.
- Provide Plenty of Cool Water
Your dog needs unlimited access to clean, fresh, and cool water throughout the year. When it’s particularly hot out, drop a few ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl to help him stay cool. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water and a bowl when you take your dog out on a walk or to the park.
- Ensure Access to AC and Backyard Shade
On hot days, a cool room indoors is the best place for your dog to be. Avoid leaving your dog out in the yard for hours at a time. If your dog needs some outdoor recreation time, choose a cooler time of day, such as in the morning or early evening hours. Make sure your yard has a shady area, and that your dog has access to water.
- Keep Tails Wagging with a Wading Pool
Lots of pups love to splash around. If your dog is a fan of playing in the water, consider getting a kiddie-size wading pool for your backyard. If possible, place it in a shady area, and be sure to keep a close eye on your dog so that you know when to bring him back inside.
- Consider Getting a Self-Cooling Pet Mat
You’ve probably noticed your pet flopping down on tile floors instead of carpeting when he’s inside. The cooler tiles will feel better when it’s hot, but they might not do enough to keep him from becoming overheated. Consider investing in a self-cooling pet mat. It automatically activates when a dog steps onto it. This type of mat is filled with a non-toxic gel material that whisks away the dog’s body heat.
- Try the Rubbing Alcohol Trick
Most of a dog’s excess body heat is dissipated through panting, but a small amount also escapes through the pads of the feet. If your pup seems to be panting hard, offer cool water, get her to a cooler room, and use the rubbing alcohol trick: Soak a cotton ball in isopropyl alcohol, and wipe your dog’s pads with it.
- Feel Free to Offer Frozen Treats
Dogs love ice cream as much as humans, but you shouldn’t feed a dog real ice cream. Instead, head for the frozen aisle of your local supermarket and look for ice cream treats made specifically for canine companions. It makes a great treat after a workout session at the dog park. You can also try offering your pup some bone broth popsicles or chilled cucumber.
- Make Grooming a Priority
Brushing your dog regularly does more than keep his coat looking shiny and beautiful. It also helps your dog stay cool. Without regular brushing, the undercoat can get matted, which prevents air flow to the skin. Brush your dog every day if he has thick or long fur. Periodically, take a trip to a dog groomer to have your dog professionally bathed and brushed out.
- Use Dog Boots on Hot Pavement
Dogs need daily exercise, but walking your dog on hot pavement is a recipe for burns and overheating. Protect your dog’s sensitive pads with special dog booties. Look for dog shoes designed specifically to help pups cope with the summer heat, rather than those intended for winter wear. You should also be sure to avoid walking your dog during the hottest hours of the day, which are typically from 10 in the morning til 3 in the afternoon.
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