Would you rather be too hot or too cold? Most everyone has been asked that question at least once, what was your answer?
Most people say without a doubt they would much rather be too hot.
My answer? Maybe it’s the North Dakota in me but I would rather be too cold.
You can only take off so much to try to cool off but if you are cold you can always add more layers of clothes or add another blanket to get warm.
My female Husky Sheba happens to agree with me on the cold, in the winter she wants to be outside almost 24 hours a day then when it’s hot she doesn’t go out much during the day but spends most of the night outside.
When she does go out during the day there are certain things we do and don’t do to help her stay as cool as possible,
Over the years we have learned how to keep my dog cool in the summer what works and what doesn’t.
We have put together a couple of lists of do’s and don’ts to help you and your fur baby enjoy a beautiful summer staying as cool as possible.
- DON’T LEAVE IN CAR: Never leave your pooch in a locked up car that isn’t running for any amount of time not even if the windows are cracked open. After an hour the temp in a car is around 43 degrees higher than outside.
- DON’T WALK ON HOT SURFACES: Have you ever tried to walk barefoot on the beach or sidewalk on a hot day? I have and it burns so why do we think it is ok to walk our dogs on the same hot surfaces? Before going for a walk with your fur baby on a hot day touch the ground you will be walking on with the palm of your hand and if it’s too hot for your hand it’s too hot for your fur baby to walk on.
- DON’T FORGET WATER: If you take your fur baby anywhere on a hot day for a walk or even a car ride don’t forget to take water for your pooch to stay cool and hydrated.
- DON’T SHAVE THEIR FUR OFF: Whatever you do don’t shave your dog’s fur off, their fur doesn’t just keep them warm it’s also there to help them stay cool. Not to mention dogs can get sunburn and skin cancer just as we can and without their fur to fully cover their skin, the sun will definitely burn their skin.
- DON’T OVERDO IT: Don’t be a stickler when it comes to walking time or exercise if your normal time is when it is hottest out maybe switch to a cooler time in the day to prevent any overexposure. A dog can heat stroke just the same as we can.
- DON’T USE DOG HOUSE: Don’t depend on the dog house for your dog’s shade as there isn’t proper airflow and can get dangerously hot for your fur baby.
- DO PROVIDE LOTS OF WATER: Please do remember to keep their water dishes full of fresh water inside and outside. Some dogs like ice you can add ice to their water or try just giving them a piece of ice to munch on. The dispensing water containers are perfect at home one inside and one outside for our fur babies
- DO AVOID MIDDAY: The hottest part of the day is midday avoid outside activity between 1 PM -6 PM and aim for early morning or evening exercise.
- DO PORTABLE WATER DISH: Do carry a collapsable water dish with you while on walks and even while traveling in a vehicle.
- DO A LITTLE POOL: If your dog spends most of the summer days outside do get a kiddy or pet pool for your pooch to splash around and cool off in. Make sure the pool is small enough for your fur baby to step in and out of so there is no risk of them getting stuck in the pool and drowning. You could also use a sprinkler for them to play in if they like playing in water that is.
- DO PROVIDE SHADE: well ventilated shaded areas are best for your pooch. Dog houses don’t have circulating air and can get dangerously hot inside. If you don’t have any naturally shaded areas in your yard you can secure a tarp for them to chill under.
- DO REPLACE FOOD: Replace part of their regular diet with canned food.
- DO OFFER COOL SURFACE: Do offer your pooch an ice pack or a wet towel to lay on.
- DO FROZEN TREATS: Do give your fur baby some homemade frozen treats.
- DO PROVIDE A COOL SPOT TO REST: Do try the elevated dog cot designed to help keep dogs cooler or some of the other special made products designed to help keep your fur baby cool on hot summer days.
- DO BRUSH: Although you don’t want to shave your dog or puppy you do want to brush them regularly to remove what’s left of their winter undercoat and any loose fur from their coats.
- DO USE SUNSCREEN: If your puppy has a thin or a non-existent coat then you should apply sunscreen on the hairless or thin coated areas such as their snout, tips of the ears, and belly. The FDA has actually approved some sunscreen for dogs it’s called Epi-Pet.
Know The Signs Of Dehydration:
Dehydration is a very real danger for your puppy during hot summer days, it helps to know what symptoms to look for so you can catch it and treat accordingly.
Ideally, the best way to treat hydration is to make sure he doesn’t get dehydrated in the first place by ensuring he has a constant supply of fresh, clear, and clean drinking water.
The symptoms of canine dehydration are
- LOSS OF APPETITE: When your fur baby isn’t eating it is usually a sign of some type of illness even if not dehydration.
- VOMITING WITH OR WITHOUT DIARRHEA: Again vomiting with or without diarrhea is cause for concern as your pooch is losing electrolytes.
- LOSS OF SKIN ELASTICITY: Skin elasticity is probably the easiest method to check for dehydration. You simply grab the skin between the shoulder blades, raise it up, let go then watch to see if it instantly goes back into place or if it does it slowly if its fast he isn’t dehydrated if it is slow going back in place your pooch is dehydrated. If you can do this test when your dog isn’t sick you will have something to compare it to when you suspect he is dehydrated.
- PANTING: So dogs pant but if you notice your pooch panting significantly more than normal there may be cause to be concerned.
- STICKY DRY GUMS: for the sticky dry gum test you check your fur baby’s gums by pressing your finger against their gums and remove it. Where you pressed on the gum will only stay white for maybe a second then return to its normal pink if hydrated in dehydrated dogs it takes significantly longer for the white to turn back to pink.
- SUNK IN DRY LOOKING EYES: If your pup’s face suddenly appears to look more boney than usual it’s likely because he is dehydrated.
- THICK SALIVA: Your fur baby’s saliva should be the consistency of water any thicker than that and dehydration is likely the cause.
- DRY NOSE: Touch the nose if its warm and dry your puppy may be dehydrated there are many reasons for a dry nose could even be they just woke up so not the most reliable way to test.
- LETHARGY AND REDUCED ENERGY LEVELS: This one may be harder to be able to tell since if it’s really hot your pooch will likely sleep or just lie around until the cooler part of the day.
Severe canine dehydration is very dangerous and can affect major organs if not treated right away so if you are unsure of the severity of your pooches dehydration you should definitely be getting in touch with your veterinarian.
Your vet can treat it fairly easily with an I.V. and other medical treatments.
When we are worried about dehydration in our fur babies I use Pedialyte to help get them back to health for more details on dogs and Pedialyte click here.
Summertime should be an enjoyable time of year, a time of the year we should be able to enjoy the outdoors with our furbabies.
Learning how to keep my dog cool in the summer was definitely one of the more valuable things I have learned, making hot summer days much easier to get through.
What have you done to keep your dog cool in the summer please share any ideas you have for keeping your pooch cool in the summer in our comment section below we would love to hear your ideas because you can never have too many good ideas?
Enjoy your summer and remember always make sure your fur baby has a proper amount of water both inside and outside