How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer Heat

Today is the first day of summer and we welcome it with temperatures in the triple digits!!!  We are having a hard enough time staying cool and hydrated, but what about your pets?  Dogs can easily become overheated, as they only have a limited ability to release heat from their bodies by panting and through the sweat glands in their feet. With temperatures rising into the triple digits, be sure to check out some of the following tips to make sure we keep our four-­legged family members safe, cool, and hydrated over these next few months!
First and foremost, and we cannot stress this enough ­don’t leave your dog sitting in an unattended car. According to studies reported by AVMA, the internal temperature in a car rises by 20 degrees every 10 minutes and rapidly continue to rise the longer you’re away from your vehicle. So if you left your pup in the car for 20 minutes to run a quick errand on a regular 85­ degree summer day, that means your dog has been sitting inside a car that’s now reached over 100 degrees. Even if you leave the windows cracked, leaving your dog in the car can result in serious dehydration, heatstroke, or even death, which certainly isn’t a risk we want any owner to take.  Avoid walking on hot asphalt.  Your dog’s paws are very sensitive to the heat and can easily become burned on the hot asphalt ­ just imagine walking barefoot at the peak of a hot summer day! To keep your dog’s paws in the clear, try to adjust your walks at cooler hours during the day, and keep walks alternating between grass, sidewalk, and asphalt as much as possible. You may even consider little dog booties to make sure your dog isn’t feeling the burn during the hotter hours of the day. Making these small changes will have your dogs and their paws thanking you!
Always provide fresh water. Whether you’re going out or staying in, it’s important to consistently supply your pooch with fresh, clean water to avoid dehydration and overheating. Be sure to check water bowls frequently (especially if they have an outside bowl that’s getting heated up by the sun). Also, always remember to bring a portable water bowl and a bottle of water to ensure that your pup is hydrated when you’re out and about.
Rocco Water Bowl
Heat proof your yard.  Many of us have dogs who enjoy lounging in the backyard. To keep their favorite spots cool, consider getting misters, awnings and umbrellas for extra shade, and even kiddie pools filled with water ­ one of our dogs Oliver loves it!  Consider purchasing a cooling vest. A cooling vest features special cooling ­pack inserts on the sides to keep your dog comfortable and cool when it’s hot out. On many of our pack hikes, we’ve used the vest one of our dogs who’s particularly sensitive to heat (he’s a huge Bernese Mountain dog whose weight is in fur). A good vest runs anywhere from $30­$140 and may be a great investment for someone looking to keep their dog cool during these summer months. There are also cooling beds and cooling blankets.
Cooling Vest
Picture courtesy of PawPosse.com
Know the signs.  Your dog may not have a gauge on how hot it really is outside, so make sure to avoid excessive exercise in the heat and look to see if he or she is panting or trying to plop down in the shade during a walk. Here are a few things to look out for:
1) Excessive panting
2) Dry mouth and nose
3) Lethargic and unsteady
4) Diarrhea, vomit, and/ or dark urine
Hot Dog
Picture courtesy of NaturalPetFoodDelivery.com
What do you do to keep your dog cool? Any cool pictures of your dogs avoiding the summer heat? Please share!
Sources:
https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/pets­invehicles.aspx

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