It’s officially summer, and the temperatures outside already feel like we’re in the Dog Days. You know how to keep yourself cool and comfortable in the heat, but what about your dog? Dogs handle the heat and sweat very differently than humans, and these tips will help Fido stay cool right along with you.
- It’s not (just) the heat, it’s the humidity. Dogs can overheat in 80 degree weather if there is high humidity. If you can’t sit outside comfortably for an extended period of time, your dog can’t either. The reason animals pant is to cool themselves off by removing moisture from their lungs. If it’s too humid, they can’t do this and may overheat. If your dog is panting, be sure to have extra water available for him or her extra water since they need to replace the fluid they are losing.
- Exercise is still important for your pooch in the summer, just like it is for you. Most humans don’t go jogging at the heat of the day, and the same goes for dogs. It’s best to walk or exercise with your dog early in the morning before it gets too hot, or in the evening after the sun goes down. Some breeds have a harder time than others, especially those with short snouts, such as pugs. Also be sure to have water with you at all times, just in case your best friend needs a drink while on your walk.
- To help keep your best friend cool, a shallow pool is a great idea. Dogs sweat primarily through their paws, and splashing around in a pool of cold water helps them cool down. Most dogs love it too, so you’ll get bonus points for the extra fun playtime. Also be sure to let your dog walk on grass instead of hot asphalt in the hot sun can burn the pads of their feet.
- Shade is essential for dogs who will be outside in the heat. Be sure your best friend has a covered area to rest in when the heat is on. If you don’t have trees, a portable shade structure is a great way to provide the shade they need.
- Indoor time is also very important. Your dog needs to spend time in a cool, air conditioned indoor space on hot summer days, just like you do. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, or your dog can’t access indoor space while you are out, consider a doggie-daycare. Your dog can spend lots of time in a cool, comfortable place, and will get lots of playtime with friends. What better way to spend the Dog Days?