Summer is fast approaching. Dig up your shorts, sunscreen, hats and coolers. Don’t forget about your four-legged friends when you think about sun protection. Dogs enjoy playing in the heat of the day, but also need a rest. PetMd.com warns that excessive panting and signs of discomfort are indicators of heat stroke in dogs. Take preventative measures to help keep your furry friend happy and cool this season.
Protect Your Dog’s Paws
When you’re out for a walk or playing at the beach, protect your dog’s paws. With the sun beating down on sidewalks, asphalt and sand, these surfaces can burn your dog’s paws. Check the temperature with your hand before going for a walk. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet. Try to walk in the early morning or evening hours, or walk in the grass or along the water’s edge.
Tip: Dog shoes can protect against hot surfaces, possible cuts, burrs and insect stings – if your dog will wear them. Check WatsonsPets.com or Amazon for doggy footwear.
Go for a Dip in the Pool
On hot summer days, dogs enjoy a dip in the pool as much as you do. Dogs sweat through their paws, so stepping into cool water often brings them instant relief. If your dog is outside most of the day, keep a small plastic pool filled with water for them to cool off in. To keep the water cooler longer, dump ice or frozen water balloons in the water.
Tip: Each year, many animals and children accidentally drown when left unattended. Teach your dog where the steps are in your large pool and how to get out.
Provide Lots of Water
Provide a way for your dog to drink as much cool water as he or she needs. Some water systems hook up directly to an outdoor faucet and are usually triggered by motion or a specific act.
Tip: Freeze your dog’s toys in an ice block for a cool treat. Add chicken stock to improve the flavor.
Fix the AC
Never leave your pet in the car, especially in warm areas like Texas or Arizona. You may be surprised at how high indoor car temperatures can soar in a short period of time. According to Weather.com, the interior of a car can reach 109 degrees Fahrenheit in 10 minutes when the temperature outside is 90 degrees. Fix the AC in your car or buy a new one. Used dealerships like Chevrolet in Tucson or BMW in Phoenix carry lots of affordable nearly new cars that have reliable air conditioners.
Tip: Give your dog a frozen toy or treat while you’re in the car on long road trips.
Let Them Sleep in the Shade
Much like humans, dogs need shade to cool off. If you don’t have shady trees, invest in an umbrella that is designed just for pets. These are low to the ground and great for blocking out scorching sun rays.
Tip: Keep a cool mat or raised bed for your dog under the tree or umbrella for added heat relief.
Turn on the Fan
If your dog is outside all day, a small fan can offer a cool place for him to relax. Or install a doggy door, so your pet can go in and out as he or she pleases.
Tip: A fan with a built-in misting device is even better.