The sun is out, all the layers of clothing come off, and it’s the perfect temperature…. for you! For your dog, who can’t just lose the layers, summer can be all too hot!
Dogs can have the same issues in hot weather as people do – heatstroke, sunburn and, most dangerously, dehydration. But not to worry, by taking action and following these great tips on how to keep your dog cool in thhe summer heat, both you and your dog will be able to have fun in the sun.
Dogs die in hot cars
The car is the ultimate deathtrap for dogs. Leaving the window cracked? Still dangerous as a car can go from normal temperature to a sauna in minutes. Cloudy days or shaded areas do not reduce the hazard of overheating. The sun moves throughout the day and clouds could intensify the heat, so it’s quite simple: NEVER, NEVER, EVER leave a dog in a car for any length of time!
Visit the vet and get a full check-up before the summer season. Mosquitoes are buzzing around and they carry the larvae for heartworm. Ensure you get your dog tested and cleared so that you can start preventative measures immediately. Summer is also flea and tick season, ask your vet for recommendations on effective flea and tick control.
Bring lots of water
If you take your dog on a road trip, always carry at least 2 litres of cool water and a bowl to drink from.
Play in the sun
Leave playtime, walks or runs to early mornings or evenings, it’s cooler. Avoid playtime after meals and if the weather is humid.
Mind the step
You know what it’s like when you walk on asphalt or stones on a hot summer’s day and you feel the burn on your feet. Dogs feel this too so when it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, it can also be hot enough to burn the pads on your dog’s feet. Heat waves causes dehydration rapidly, so leave the walks and runs to cooler part of the day.
Fun on the Beach
Heading to the sandy beach? Pick a shaded area and ensure that your dog has easy access to cooler water. If your dog likes to swim in the ocean, wash them off with fresh water asap as the salt water can do damage to the coat and skin.
If you can, keep your dog indoors on hot days. If you are unable to do so, make sure they have a cool, shaded refuge and plenty of fresh water at all times.
Older dogs, overweight dogs and dogs with medical conditions, like lung or heart disease, should be kept indoors in a cool space on hot days, a room with air-conditioning if possible. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzus can be prone to hot weather issues and should be monitored for signs of overheating.
Summer brings other non-heat related dangers too, including weed sprays, insecticides, and snail baits, so be aware for these hazards in your backyard or at the dog park too. The outside of a car can be dangerous also, with radiator coolants and engine fluids leaking, for example. These fluids have a sweet taste and only a small amount can cause serious complications or death. If you think your dog may have consumed these or any other poisonous hazards, call your vet immediately.
Get a Summer Cut
Dogs with heavy or long coats should be given a nice summer cut before it gets too hot. Ask for a summer cut that cuts the hair to shorter than one inch. Don’t shave your dog down to the skin, as their hair protects them from the sun.
Be careful when you barbecue
Summer is barbeque season, and your dog is most definitely around where there are sausages, right? Well, lighter fluids, matches, fire pits and citronella candles can be harmful to your dog’s health, so stay one step ahead and make sure your dogs are safe.
Think before you open the windows
Open windows can be a potential hazard. Dogs love the outdoors and they may get excited and jump out of windows, even from very high up, if they see people or other dogs playing outside, so be careful when you use open windows as a way of cooling down your house.
At Bow-Wow we make sure all our dogs are safe and comfortable on the hot days and nights in summer… we all love summer, let’s make sure we’re all safe.