Keeping your dog cool this summer

Warm summer days are here offering more time for you to spend with your dog outdoors. But during the hottest months you need to watch out for heatstroke. Did you know that dogs can only sweat through the pads of their paws? The only other way to lower their body temperature is by panting. Here are some tips that will help your dog have a safe and cool summer.

Water and Shade Are Essential

Always offer lots of cool water for your dog to drink. When taking walks, find a water fountain or carry a water bottle. Offer more frequent rest periods.

Try an online search for “dog cooling bandanas”. These are bandanas that you can soak and place on your dog. As the water evaporates, it helps your dog cool off.

When he is outside, fill his bowl with ice instead of water. The summer heat can quickly warm up your dog’s water. The ice melts providing cool water to drink.

Make your dog a toy popsicle. Get a big bowl and place one or two of your dog’s favorite toys in it. Fill it with water and freeze it. Now your dog has something cold to lick while he’s busy trying to get to his toys.

Consider buying a doggie cot like the one made by ‘Guardian Gear’. It looks just like a camping cot for dogs. It keeps your dog off the hot concrete, and allows air to circulate around your dog as he pants to cool off. For extra cooling power, wet it down a few times during the day.

Some dogs dig holes to find a cool place to lay. You can prevent this by purchasing a small plastic pool and filling it with water. When your dog is hot, he can lay in his pool to cool off. Put it in a shady area to keep the water from heating up too quickly. Since your dog will probably want to drink the pool water, it’s a good idea to empty it out at night and refill it with fresh, cold water in the morning. This will prevent little parasites from living in the water, which your dog might ingest.

You can provide extra shade for your dog by setting up a shade tent for him. Check out the ‘Outward Hound Pet Tent and Shade Shelter’. Or you could use a child’s camping tent. This will give your dog another place to escape the sun’s rays for a while.

Offer your dog extra time indoors, especially during the hottest times of the day. A nap in the house on the cold tile floor could be the very thing that keeps your dog from having a heatstroke.

Watch Out For Heatstroke

A dog’s normal body temperature is 100 – 102.5 degrees Farenheit. A dog with moderate heatstroke has a temperature of 104 to106 degrees. Severe heatstroke occurs when a dog’s temperature reaches 106+ degrees. Severe heatstroke is life threatening.

Can you spot the symptoms of heatstroke in your dog?

According to the website, here’s what to watch for:

* Rapid panting * Bright red nose * Red or pale gums * Thick, sticky saliva * Weakness * Dizziness * Vomiting or diarrhea * Shock * Coma

If your dog displays these symptoms:

* Immediately remove him from the hot area. * Wet him thoroughly with cool water. * Fan him to increase air circulation. * Wrap him in towels and take him to the veterinarian right away.

By following the tips listed above, you can prevent heatstroke. Enjoy your dog and your summer.