How to keep your dog cool this summer
Summer can mean lots of fun outside with your dog. But when the temperature soars, take steps to protect your pet. Whether you take him for a walk down the street, a ride in the car, or just out in the garden to play, the heat can be hard on them. Here’s how to keep your furry companion safe.
Never leave your dog in the car even if you think you’ll only be a few minutes. Even when it isn’t that hot outside, the temperature can soar inside a closed car. On an 29C day, it can reach 32C within 10 minutes. And that’s with a window slightly open. After 30 minutes, it could be up to 48C. Leave your dog at home, or go places where they can come with you.
Keep your house cool. If the furry one is home alone, make sure he can truly chill. Leave the air conditioner on and close the curtains. If you don’t have AC, open the windows and turn on a fan or 2. You may want to try a cooling vest or mat to see if they help.
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Watch when you exercise. Limit when and how much you do when it’s hot and humid. Take walks in the cooler part of the day, in the early morning and evening hours. Carry water, too — enough for both of you.
Check the pavement. Before you head out for a walk, touch the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paw pads. Walk on the grass and stay off the tarmac. You also might want to try booties for your dog so his paws don’t burn.
Offer plenty of water and shade. Don’t leave your pooch alone outside for long. And when he is there, make sure he has shade and lots of fresh, cool water. Add ice cubes when you can. Trees are better than doghouses for shade. They let air flow through. Doghouses can trap the heat and make it worse. Think about a paddling pool or a sprinkler to help your pal cool off in the yard.
Make cool treats. Help them chill from the inside out. For puppy icepops , make ice cubes with tasty treats inside. Or fill and freeze a chew toy to make a chilly snack.
Keep an eye on the humidity, too. When the air is full of moisture, your dog may not be able to pant enough to cool himself off. That can raise his temperature, which can lead to heatstroke. Stay inside, and limit exercise, too.
Take care of at-risk dogs. Be watchful if you have a snub-nosed pet like a pug or bulldog. Their smaller airways make it harder for them to release heat when they pant. It’s also easy for old and overweight dogs, or those with heart and breathing problems, to get heatstroke.
Groom your pet. If your dog has long hair, get rid of any mats and tangles. It will help keep him cool. Don’t shave or clip his coat before you talk to your vet or groomer. The extra fur that keeps him warm in winter may also keep him cool in summer.
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