I know this post is from a couple years ago, but summer is coming and we want all of our fur friends to stay safe. Here are 11 tips to beat the summer heat:
Depending on where you live, the summer months can be harsh on our furry friends. Just like we need to cool off during hot weather, so do our dogs. In fact, dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than us humans. Follow these 10 easy steps to keep your dogs safe from heat!
1. Water, water, water! Make sure your dogs have access to water at all times, even when you are in the car or at the park. We like Ruff Wear’s portable (recycled polyester) water bowls. These can be purchased at a number of our bakeries! (Find a bakery near you)
2. Ceiling fans, cool tile and of course, air conditioning help keep our pets cool enough in hot temperatures but also think about cool places for them outside. Have a permanent place for your dog to seek shade if he is spending time outdoors or in the back yard.
3. Make sure to have the windows down in the car when you’re driving. Dogs should never be left in a parked car when it’s hot outside. Temperatures can easily rise inside a car even when the windows are down. The hottest hours of the day are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check out this video from a vet explaining how hot it actually gets in a car.
4. Senior dogs, puppies under six months and ill dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. As are dogs with short muzzles. On extra hot days limit their outdoor activity and again, make sure they have plenty of clean, fresh water.
5. As a general rule do not exercise your dog on hot days. Monitor their playtime as well. Also, some breeds can handle the heat better than others and should not be taken on long runs or walks once it reaches certain temperatures.
6. Be aware of hot pavement during the afternoon hours. Hot asphalt can burn paws. We suggest morning and evening walks and the usage of Paw Rub! Paw Rub is great for cracked, dry paws and chapped noses and our Bakeries carry a nice selection of options. (Find a bakery near you). This, too, is a great resource: Hot Asphalt Awareness
7. Dogs that are pale and have short hair are more prone to sunburn. Try applying sunscreen if they will be spending a lot time outdoors. However, we suggest testing a small area first to make sure the dog is not allergic to sunscreen.
8. If your dog likes the outdoors and tends to overheat, try buying a kiddie pool for the back yard. It is a great way for them to cool down rather than rolling in the mud.
9. Be aware of how your dog’s breed is affected by the heat and sun. Certain breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke and dogs with dark coats absorb heat faster than breeds with light coats. Also, be aware that during the summer months your pet might require a haircut or buzz to keep them cool. But speak with your vet before shaving as this can sometimes lead to sunburns.
10. Most importantly, just get to know your dog. Monitor them and figure out what they can handle and what they like.
11. Added for 2013 – I saw this tip and thought it was great. If you know you’ll be out a while with your dog, keep a towel with you so he or she won’t have to stand on hot pavement for a long time. We also suggest walking your dog on the grass. Grass stays cooler than concrete, reducing the risk of paw pad injuries in the summer.
With summer upon us, it’s important to brush up on any tips that can help keep your BFF (best furry friend) comfortable and healthy during these dog days.
And don’t fur-get to have a happy and healthy summer!