As we change our calendars from June to July, and later to August, the heat can become unbearable. Staying hydrated and cool during the summer can be a struggle– and that is just as a (relatively) fur-free human! For man’s best friend, however, the summer can be even harder.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, so staying cool can be a challenge. Combine that with walking barefoot on hot asphalt and you have the recipe for an overheated, tired pup. Although most dogs, regardless of breed or fluff factor, can handle warm climates, some breeds may require a little bit extra TLC in the heat. Fortunately, there simple ways that you can keep your dog hydrated and cool so that you can both enjoy the summer outdoors together.
How much water should a dog drink?
If you are planning an afternoon out or a longer walk, make sure to pack a bottle of water and a water bowl. A collapsible water bowl can fit right in your pocket and is easy to pack for long road-trips.
Keeping your dog hydrated may seem painfully obvious, but it is easy to forget that dogs need more water than usual during the summer. Although dogs usually only need an ounce of water per pound of their body weight per day, during the summer that can increase — especially for younger pups and females. When outside, your dog may also prefer smaller amounts of water over a longer period of time.
Schedule Walks During Cooler Times of Day
To avoid overheating, pay attention to the time of day that you are taking your longer walks. Just like you don’t want to be outside at noon when the sun is blazing highest, your pooch doesn’t want to be out either. Early morning and evenings are a great time to get outside for a nice long walk.
Grooming Goes a Long Way
If your dog has a thicker, longer coat, regular grooming can help them tolerate the summer heat. Not only will grooming keep your dog nice and clean after they have spent afternoons romping outside, but it can help your pet regulate his or her temperature.
Your dog’s undercoat can provide protection against UV rays and can insulate against heat — but, if the undercoat is matted and not maintained, it cannot do its job properly. Between regular grooming, brush your dog to keep their undercoat healthy.
Offer Your Pooch Some Perks
Playing outside seems like a perk enough to some pet parents, but during the hot summer months, even the dog park can be exhausting. To make outside play more fun, offer your dog a cool, wet towel to lay on. Filling a kiddie pool with water for your dog is another way to perk them up. Giving your dog cold treats is another way to combat the heat. If you live near water, like a safe lake or dog beach, let your dog play in the water to cool down.
If you plan to board your pet during the summer, make sure that they are somewhere inside and are given the opportunity to play outside in a cool, shaded area. For example, pets boarded through Beautify the Beast at Fire Flake Farm get to run and play in a spring fed lake during the summer.
Dog Paw Protection
The air above the pavement can be up to 10 degrees hotter than the air above the grass. If just the AIR is that much hotter, imagine how painful it would be to stand on that pavement without any shoes.
Before exposing your pooch’s paw pads to hot pavement, reach down and touch it. If it is hot enough to give you pause (or, rather, paws), it is too hot for your dog. Try to avoid pavement and take a long walk through the grass. If your dog does hurt his paws or gets a sunburn, use a dog paw balm like Nourish Salve by CBD DOG HEALTH to help with the pain and healing.
Know the Signs of a Dog’s Heat Stroke
Heatstroke in a dog can look different than heatstroke in a human. A normal temperature for a dog is up to 101.5 — any higher than that is a cause for concern. If your dog is experiencing rapid breathing and panting, muscle tremors, fatigue, or excess salivation, they may be having a heat stroke. If they are staggering or seem to be acting unusual, bring them inside and call your vet.
You can cool your dog down during a heat stroke with cool water and by wrapping them with cold, wet towels. Avoid trying to drop the dog’s temperature too suddenly, as this can be dangerous. Always remember to call the vet if your dog is exhibiting these behaviors and may be overheated.
A Few More Tips:
-Dogs with shorter noses and long, thick coats may be less comfortable as the temperatures rise. Dogs with a shorter nose, like bulldogs or pugs, have a much smaller nasal passage which affects their ability to regulate their body temperature. Although these breeds tend to have shorter, thinner coats, they should still be monitored a little bit extra for signs of heatstroke.
-NEVER leave your dog in a hot car.
-Don’t leave your dog tied up outside in the heat.
-Keep your house nice and cool inside so that pets have a reprieve from the heat.
-Use common sense. If you would overheat and become exhausted, your dog probably would too. There aren’t many humans who would want to be tied up and left outside all day, locked in a hot car, left outside with no water, and given no way to cool down.
For more information on keeping your dog safe and happy this summer, visit https://beautifythebeast.com/dog-blog/.
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.