Just because they are called the “dog days” of summer does not mean that broiling hot temperatures are good for dogs. But there are things you can do to make the dog days of summer safer and more comfortable for your dog.
Water, water everywhere
When your dog is outside, make sure the water dish is never far away. Keep the water dish in a cool shaded area. Change the water frequently to make sure your dog always has access to water that is fresh and cool.
Everybody into the pool
A wading or kiddie pool can provide a quick way for your dog to cool off. As with the water dish, keep the pool in the shade and make sure to change the water frequently. Do not let your dog in the pool unsupervised, and that also goes for letting your dog splash around an adult-sized pool.
Early and late
Walk your dog earlier in the morning and later at night to avoid the hottest parts of the day. During the day, it may be necessary to curtail your dog’s outdoor activities. While you want your dog to get exercise, it may be advisable to cut back on very hot days.
Trimming your dog’s hair, particularly for breeds with long or thick hair, could also be beneficial in keeping your dog cooler during the summer months. But be aware that giving your dog’s hair a trim could increase the risk of sunburn, and cause dog skin problems.
Dogs can get sunburn in places such as the tips of the ears, the nose and well as groin and belly areas. If so, you might want to consider buying one of the products that serve as sunscreens for dogs. Be careful in particular to put suncreen on the dog’s ears, nose, and paws, so find a product that can be safe for that. Find a sunblock that is approved for use in dogs, since you don’t want to run the risk of your dog licking something off his or her skin that could be toxic to ingest.
Protect the paws from dog skin problems
Walking on hot pavement or beach sand could burn your dog’s paws. Feel the surface with your hand to see if it is too hot for your dog. If you notice dog skin problems, there are treatments you can use to treat it on the paws or elsewhere.
Special dog beds
Some dog beds have special cooling systems, generally using water, which will give your dog a cool place to rest.
Do not leave your dog in a parked car
Parked cars can heat up very quickly in the summer. Cracking the window or leaving the windows open will not prevent the car from getting dangerously hot. Your dog could suffer heatstroke or worse. It might even be illegal in some places to leave a dog unattended in a parked car during the summer. You don’t want to have your dog pass away in your car because you had to run an errand. In such situations, you should probably leave your dog at home.
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