Summer is here and that means the weather will be turning much warmer. While you and your family are looking for ways to keep cool, keep in mind there's one furry family member that will need some help staying cool as well. There are some precautions dog owners can take to make sure their canine pals stay cool during the hot summer days.
Be sure your dog has plenty of cool water to drink on hot days. Filling your dog's water dish partly with ice cubes is a good way to keep the water cool. Dogs are less likely to drink warm or hot water, so providing cool water is essential to keeping them from becoming dehydrated. One good solution may be a product called FroBo (short for FrostyBowlz), a freezable water bowl for your dog. It has a removable insert you can freeze. You simply slip the frozen insert into the dish, add water, and your dog has cold water all day long. The frozen gel insert lasts much longer than ice.
Don't have air conditioning? Neither do we. One solution we've found to keep our dog cool indoors when the temperature creeps up is a Cool Bed. Simply add the recommended amount of water to the Cool Bed and your dog has a nice cool spot to lay. Another alternative for dogs on the go is the Cooling Coat. It uses evaporation technology to keep your dog cool. Simply pour cool water on it.
It would be preferable during hot days to keep dogs indoors if you can, but if you must keep your dog outdoors, make sure there is plenty of shade for them outside. The sun moves over the course of the day, so make sure there's shade no matter what time of day it is. One good solution is a dog canopy bed. It provides shade and since the sides are open, it also provides for air circulation so breezes can cool your dog as well.
Another good way to keep your dog cool in hot weather is to provide a durable, light-colored, chew resistant, and UV resistant doggy pool. Our dog loves her pool, but does not like deep water, so we fill it only a few inches deep. Other dogs might prefer it a little deeper.
If you need to walk your dog, the best times are the cooler early mornings and later evenings. Be sure the sidewalks are cool enough not to burn your dog's paws.
Dogs who have long coats suffer the most on hot summer days. You can give your dog some relief by trimming their coat. Some owners like to shave their dogs, but at least an inch of hair or so should be left to protect your dog's skin against the sun.
Be sure to keep an eye on your dog during the hot summer months. If you notice your dog in distress, such as heavy panting, trouble breathing, vomiting, or being unsteady on their feet, take them to the vet immediately. Heat-related illnesses like heat stroke can be avoided by the preventative measures listed above and can keep your canine friend happy, healthy, and comfortable over the summer.