If you currently have a dog, and it is in the midst of summer, it is important to keep them cool. Although dogs have their own internal mechanism for not overheating, panting alone will not help them on the hottest days. It is very common for dogs to overheat, especially those that naturally have a very thick or long coat. Keeping them out of the sun is ideal, but there are times when you will need to take them for a walk. There are some dog breeds that are extremely sensitive to heat, and others that will fare very well. Keep reading for the certain signs that you need to look for if your dog is experiencing dehydration or perhaps even a heat stroke along with other tips you can use for keeping your dog cool during the summer.
Signs of Dog Dehydration
Before we dive into dog breeds for the hot temperatures and tips for keeping your dog cool, let’s cover the signs of dog dehydration. If your dog is dehydrated you will notice them having a dry nose, loss of appetite, lethargy, sunken in eyes, panting, and thick saliva. Other warning signs of dog dehydration are loss of skin elasticity, panting, and dry, sticky gums. To treat dog dehydration, first provide plenty of cool drinking water for your canine. If your dog starts to vomit and become really sick, visit your veterinarian immediately.
Dog Breeds That Hate Hot Weather
There are certain breeds of dogs that are simply not able to handle the hot weather well at all. Breeds that hate hot weather include Pomeranian’s, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Chowchow’s, and Pugs. If you have a Boxer or an Akita, they will likely become overheated very easily as well. When owning these breeds, it is important to keep them out of the sun as much as possible because they are not designed for excessive amounts of heat.
What dog breeds are best in hot weather?
Some heat-friendly canines include Basenjis, Dalmations, Dobermans, Border Collie’s, and Terriers. Keep in mind that canines with shorter hair will be more tolerant of the heat along with dogs who have just a single coat of fur. Some other characteristics to notice about dogs that do well in heat are larger ears, lighter fur color, and a longer nose. While the breeds above are well adapted to hot climates, remember to still be cautious with your canine in the hot weather. Keep reading for tips to keeping your dog cool in the heat.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool in the Summer
In general, your objective is to do three specific things when keeping your dog cool. First of all, do not take them outside during the hottest part of the day. This is typically after lunch, and a few hours prior to dinnertime. Second, bring things with you that aid in keeping your dog cool. This could be anything from a wet towel to bringing an umbrella. Finally, it’s always a good idea to bring water for your dog in case they overheat easily. There are other ways of keeping your dog cool regardless of where you live.
Bring An Ice Pack or Wet Towel With You
Bringing an ice pack or a wet towel along when in the heat with your dog is so important. If you’re sensing that your dog is getting overheated, place an ice pack or cool towel on them or on the ground to lay on. In order to bring an ice pack, you will have to bring a bag with you that is fully insulated. You will then place multiple ice packs to gather so that you can use them throughout the day. The other possibility is bringing Ziploc bags with ice cubes. Even if it melts, your bag is not going to leak. Another helpful tip is to bring a wet towel with you if you’re headed to the lake, pool, or patio.
Walk Your Dog Near Water
Keeping your dog cool in the summer has a lot to do with where you are walking your dog. If you happen to be walking your dog in a park, and there is water nearby, keep them in close proximity. If they are hot, which you should be able to notice, you can then allow them to go in the water to cool down. Likewise, if you are going into the woods, choose areas where rivers are flowing.
Feed Them Canned Food Instead Of Dry Food
Prior to going out on their walks, if you are feeding them hours before, you should certainly feed them canned food. Many dog owners may not know, but canned food naturally has moisture in it. This will help in keeping your dog cool and hydrated during the summer.
Bring A Collapsible Water Dish And Water
Bringing their water dish with you could be a cumbersome task. You might have to bring a full-sized backpack to do so. Instead, there are collapsible water dishes that you can bring that will be very easy to store. It is also necessary to bring a water bottle with you, preferably insulated, so as to keep the water cool for your dog.
Do Your Walks In The Morning Or Evening
One of the most important tips to remember when keeping your dog cool in the summer is the time of day you should walk your canine. If you can, walk your dog in the early morning if possible. This is really the best time to avoid any type of heat at all. If you do walk them in the evening, there are some areas of the country where temperatures do not drop until well after midnight. Make sure you’re in a climate where its temperature does get cooler in the night if choosing to take your canine on walks after work. If the climate is best in the morning, your dog will thank you for walking them early in the day.
Bring Frozen Doggy Treats
It is likely that you will have to make these on your own, but frozen doggy treats are a delicious way for keeping your dog cool. This could be a mixture of water and treats that they really enjoy. Not only will they be able to get water from the ice, but it will also serve as a snack for them.
Avoid Pavement If Possible
If you take your dog for a walk, try to do so on surfaces that are not asphalt or any type of pavement. Temperatures on the surfaces are always going to be 15° hotter at a minimum. Likewise, it will potentially burn them if they are walking on surfaces that could be well over 100°. You may even want to put dog booties on their feet if you need to walk them during the day. Keep in mind, if the surface you’re walking on is hot to you, it is hotter for your pet’s paws.
Walk-In Areas Where There Is Plenty Of Shade
If there is a park nearby, you should consider walking where there is shade. This is the best way to provide them with cooler temperatures if needed. If you are walking in the open, and there is no place for them to cool down, this could be problematic. Unless you have brought ice with you, or water that they can drink, shade is the next best strategy for bringing their internal temperatures down.
These are just a few ideas for keeping your dog cool during the summer. Every dog has to get some form of exercise. If you do own a Dalmatian, Chihuahua, or a Beagle with a short coat, this might not be a problem. However, if you are walking your St. Bernard or some other large long-haired breed, you will need to use all of the tips provided. This will ensure that your dog will stay safe and cool when you take them for walks even if it is in the middle of summer. Latchkey Pet’s are your dog walking experts and the standard of daytime dog walking services in Lee’s Summit and surrounding areas. Call us today to discuss our services!