How to keep your dog cool this summer

Lolling puppy tongues and big eyes just begging for your popsicle, all these are signs that the dog days of summer are here. Perhaps you think you’re hot, but try having layers of thick fur on you! While most dogs can self-regulate their body temperatures with little problem, you need to be aware that your dog could get dehydrated or overheated very easily if you don’t take precautions. In order to keep everyone chill and happy, here are some tips for keeping your dog cool this summer.

Always Have Drinking Water Available Perhaps the most important thing to remember during the scorching days of summer is to keep water out for your dog to prevent dehydration. Fill the bowl whenever you see it’s empty. If you have a big dog or multiple dogs consider one of those devices that has a water reservoir that drips down into a dish. Just like human beings dogs need lots of water to stay hydrated in the heat.

Give Your Dog a Trim Some dogs with longer hair can benefit from a trim during the summer. You don’t have to shave them bald. If you don’t want to do a full shave try cutting the long hairs on the belly and legs and clipping the hair inside the ears. Clipping hair in the ears can also help lessen moisture retention which can breed bacteria and infection. Trimming you dog can also help prevent hot spots, open sores which can be very painful for a dog.

Never Leave your Dog in a Car Just like you would never leave your baby in a hot car, please don’t leave your dog in the car during the summer. Temperatures can soar above 120° Fahrenheit very quickly, and your dog may even die if you leave him out there too long. Leaving the window open is not an option either. Your dog may manage to get out, and the breeze is usually not enough to cool the car down sufficiently. If you cannot take your pup with you, then just leave him at home.

Leave your Dog in a Pen Rather than a Crate Many of us have to leave our dogs during the day while we work. Instead of putting your canine companion in a crate for the day, try leaving him in a pen. A crate can be very close and stifling, whereas a pen allows for air flow and a little movement. If your house is constantly climate controlled this may not be an issue, but not everyone has central air.

Get Your Dog a Swimming Pool Fido doesn’t need an Olympic sized pool, but he sure would like a wading pool! Even if your dog doesn’t like to swim, chances are he’ll love walking and lying in the water to cool down. And if you have a water-loving breed like a Labrador, well, good luck getting him out. There are expensive pools made “just for dogs”, but Fido doesn’t care. Just get him the $15 plastic pool from the big box store and he’ll have a wonderful time and be cool as a cucumber to boot.

In Extreme Heat, Keep your Dog Indoors Sometimes, if you live in certain parts of the country, the heat just gets to be too much for everyone. Above 95° Fahrenheit a lot of dogs have trouble coping, especially breeds originally intended for temperate climates. Sometimes you simply have to keep your dog indoors with air conditioning for the better part of the day.

The dog days of summer can be full of fun in the sun for everyone, but we have to take precautions as well. Make sure your canine companion doesn’t get dehydrated or overheated by following the tips above and using your common sense. Also, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the company of the most loyal friend you’ll ever have!