Summer time is here and we all know what that means – spending more time outside in the beautiful warm weather! As the temperatures rise, people can always find ways to cool off, but what about our canine counterparts? They will be feeling the heat too and it’s our job as responsible pet owners to help them find ways to ‘beat the heat’.Keeping them indoors in the comfort of a running air conditioner is a great way to keep dogs cool, but what if your furry friend has an affinity for playing outside in the sun? Here are some great ways to not only help cool your canine, but to keep him or her safe, healthy, and comfortable when ‘the heat is on.’
Fresh cool water– Having fresh cool water for your dog to drink is essential in the hotter temperatures. Cool water keeps them hydrated and it can help cool their body temperature down considerably, even on the hottest days. When their water bowl is outside, make certain it is placed in a shaded area and replenish it often. If you are unable to replenish it often, ensure there are a few water bowls lying around.
A ‘cool’ bandana– Those bandanas you see around a dog’s neck can serve more than just a fashion statement. You can use bandanas to keep your dog cool in a number of ways. Soaking it in water and placing it for a bit in the freezer works really well. You can also wrap ice cubes in the bandana which will cool off your dog while they melt. There are even non-toxic polymer crystals found at some pet supply stores that you can wrap up in the bandana. These crystals expand when soaked in water and can cool your dog down as the water evaporates.
Exercise in cooler temperatures– Any outdoor activities such as dog walking is best carried out in the mornings or evenings. The time spent outdoors should also be shorter than your dog’s usual routine. As experienced dog walkers ourselves, we’ve noticed the need to shorten the walks during the summer months as the dogs do get tired quicker. You should also be mindful to take your companion to dog walking spots that have an abundance of shade as well as running water such as creeks or rivers. Most importantly, pay attention to any dehydration signs such as lethargic behaviour, excess drooling or reddish eyes.
Make cool doggy treats– Dogs just love playing with and eating ice cubes. You can make these using an ice tray or in a medium-sized plastic containers (this way, they’ll last longer). Alternatively, you can get creative and make frozen flavoured ‘pupsicle’ treats in ice trays or in plastic party cups. Diluted Chicken stock mixed with a few dog treats are a favourite at our dog day care facility. Just make certain to give these frozen treats to your pooch outside because they melt easily….and they sure can be messy!
Sprinklers & Pools– Find innovative ways to ‘beat the heat’ for your companion. At our Urban Paws doggy day care centre we know how much fun a sprinkler , mist fan or plastic pool can be for a dog. Especially for the ones that just love water! Set up a sprinkler in your backyard for some rollicking cool fun! If you don’t have a sprinkler or aren’t set up for one, purchase a plastic kiddie pool and fill it with cool water. Alternatively, you could purchase a mist fan which works great for those hot summer days.
Cooling dog beds– Cooling dog beds are a terrific way for your pooch to get some relief from the heat. These cooling beds can be found in many pet stores and come in a variety of sizes along with different cooling methods. Some are a thin plastic which you can fill with water, some come with pockets to tuck ice packs in, and some even have cooling coils inside of them.
Grooming– Giving your dog a very short summer cut or a shave is tempting, but it’s actually better for your pooch to leave some of the layers of your dog’s fur because it helps them from overheating and protects them from sunburn. Instead, opt for a regular clip and a good brushing to remove any loose or unmanageable fur, especially around his or her underbelly. In addition to helping them keep cool, a clean and manageable coat can also prevent summer skin problems as well.