As the temperatures climb and the sun beats down from overhead, you’ll find yourself searching for ways to stay cool. Everybody has a different method to beat the heat, and everybody has that one common goal. Children love to run through the sprinklers, buzz their hair very short, or splash around in the inflatable pool. Adults also love to relax by the pool, but in a more sophisticated manner with an ice-cold drink and an engrossing novel.
You are not the only one looking to escape from the hot summer sun. Your dog also gets hot, too, and she might require some assistance! Read below to learn more about cooling off your pup in the summer.
Ensure Proper Hydration
One of the easiest ways to keep your pet cool this summer is by keeping them properly hydrated. Cats and dogs dehydrate faster than humans, so you must be extra diligent and alert to their condition. Noticeable symptoms of dehydration include panting, red gums, and excessive drooling.
If you notice any of these signs, get them into the shade and give them water as quickly as possible. You should always have cool, clear water available for your pet, especially if they will be outside for a prolonged time period. You could also invest in automatic watering technology for your home to ensure your dog has water at her demand.
Switching from dry to wet food is another easy way to hydrate your pet this summer. Dry food is full of healthy vitamins and nutrients, but it can dry your pet’s mouth out and enhance their symptoms of dehydration. Wet food naturally increases their fluid intake, meaning they will not need to drink as much water. You could also use treats to hydrate your pet, such as "pupsicles." This way, your dog will love to stay hydrated!
Monitor Exercise and Outdoor Time
Monitoring your pet’s outdoor time and outdoor exercise is crucial to keeping them cool this summer. Enjoying time outside with your pet is a staple of summertime, but you must exercise caution for your pet’s sake. One way to do this is to alter your normal walking hours. Many people walk their pets during the middle of the day, but this is not ideal.
Between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the sun is at its peak and the temperatures are the highest. For your dog’s sake, consider walking her early in the morning or late at night to limit her exposure to the heat and sun.
Everybody loves playing outside with their pet, especially on a beautiful summer day. If you are out with your dog during the middle of the day, make sure there is plenty of water and a shaded area available for her to rest in. Walking on hot pavement, asphalt, or concrete for an extended period of time is very damaging to your pet’s paws, and it’s painful.
Keep Your Home Cool
After a long day of fun in the sun with your pet, you’ll both want to relax inside. Therefore, you should make sure your home is kept at a cool and comfortable temperature. A top of the line air conditioner works wonders for you and your pet, and there is a variety of options available depending on your home’s needs. Many of the industry's top brands offer different systems with innovative technologies, such as sensors and smartphone compatibility, to keep you and your pet cool this summer!
Do Not Leave Your Pets Unattended in the Car
All pet owners feel a sense of remorse when they must leave their pet at home while they leave the house for errands, a social gathering, or whatever reason. They can often be guilt tripped by puppy-dog eyes into bringing them along, but please consider their safety first. Leaving dogs unattended in a car is very dangerous for their health, and it is actually illegal in some areas.
Many think that parking in the shade or leaving the windows down is an acceptable alternative, but this is not the case. The inside of your car can reach 115 °F after one hour parked outside on a 70 °F day, making it a very dangerous place to leave your pet. If you do bring your dog along, make sure you can bring her inside wherever you are going.
Cool Off in the Water
Another summertime staple is relaxing by the water. Whether it is a natural body of water—like a lake, river, or ocean—or your backyard pool, the water is a perfect place to cool off. It is important to keep your pet’s safety in mind, so never leave your dog unattended by the water.
Additionally, life vests and safety preservers allow dogs to swim and enjoy the water much more freely. Keep in mind that dogs prefer cooling off in the water much more than cats. While your dog enjoys swimming in the lake, a cat might prefer “drinking” from a dripping faucet.
Groom and Bathe Your Dog Regularly
Regularly grooming and bathing your dog is a great way to keep her cool this summer. However, this does NOT mean to shave your pet entirely. Even though many humans shave their heads in the summer, your pet's coat already keeps her cool in the summer by naturally regulating her temperature. Regularly groom and bathe your dog to keep her coat short and looking great this summer! She’ll be very grateful, and it will also help rid her of any potentially harmful parasites or bacteria collected outside.
You could also apply products such as sunscreen or lotion to keep your pet cool this summer. However, you should make sure these products are designed specifically for dogs. Applying human lotion or sunscreen will not work and could be harmful to your pet.
Now that you know how to keep your dog cool, you’re ready for another great summer with your companion! In closing, you should always keep an eye on your dog when the temperatures rise, and you should watch out for any problematic signs. Symptoms in pets include drooling, panting, vomiting, bright red gums, and wobbly legs. If you notice anything unusual, seek immediate veterinary attention.