When the temperature rises and the first signs of summer appear, make sure you’re prepared to keep your four-legged friend cool. Spending summer days outdoors is a great way to hang with man’s best friend, just keep him safe from heat stroke so you can keep the good times rolling all year long.
Provide Water, Water, Water
Good ol’ H2O is the No. 1 way to keep your dog cool. Provide plenty of fresh, cool water during the summer with a Doggie Fountain, a device that simulates a water fountain when your pup presses down on a lever. Dogster suggests providing at least 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. You can also keep your pet hydrated and entertained by filling up a rubber Kong toy and freezing it, or by making your own frozen dog “pupsicles” like the Dog-safe Peanut Butter Popsicles featured on the Humane Society website.
Go For a Dip in the Pool
Going for a swim is a great way to keep humans and canines cool. ASPCA cautions that, much like a child, dogs should never be left unsupervised around a pool. If your dog isn’t too thrilled about large bodies of water, gradually introduce him to the wonderful world of swimming by practicing in a shallow kiddie pool, using treats as a reward and supporting your dog’s underside the first time he or she takes the plunge.
In addition to preparing your dog for his very first pool party, make your pool puppy ready. Make sure the pool chemicals are balanced and the pool is in working order. If you need to purchase a pool pump or other pool parts, you can find them online from retailers like In The Swim. Purchase some fun floating dog toys at your local pet shop and a fence or pool cover to keep Spot away from the pool when you’re not around.
Take Advantage of Doggy Gadgets
Invest in items that will keep your best friend cool. Doggy boots can keep furry paws from burning on hot sidewalks, doggles (dog goggles) will keep peepers safe from the harsh sun and cooling vests help lower a dog’s core body temperature. If you have an outside dog on your hands, a cooling dog bed can keep him comfortable during the hottest part of the day. You can also consider installing a doghouse air conditioning unit. One of these bad boys will cost you approximately $500 though.
Change Your Dog Caring Habits
During the summertime you’ll want to change the way you take care of your pup. Cesar’s Way advises going out for walks early in the morning or at night. You should also never—not even with the AC on full blast—leave your dog inside a car. In the summer a car’s interior can rise up to 120 degrees. Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital, states, “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke.” Be a responsible pet parent and leave your dog at home instead.
Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs
If you’re a dog parent make sure you know the following signs of heat stroke:
- Bright red tongue and gums
- Excessive panting
- Vomiting (sometimes blood)
- Thick, sticky saliva
- Staggering walk or collapsing