The long and hot summer months provide the perfect opportunity for you to get out there and have fun and create new memories with your canine friend. However, just as the hot summer weather can soon become sweaty and uncomfortable for you, so it can for your dog. As such, there are certain considerations that you should take into account to ensure that your dog remains healthy and happy during summer and enjoys the prolonged periods spent out of doors. Here are some steps to take when looking after your dog in summer.
Know the signs of heatstroke
Dogs love spending time stretched out in a sunny patch; however, prolonged periods spent in direct heat can result in heatstroke even on a cloudy day. This can be potentially fatal, so it is important that you can recognize the signs, which include panting heavily, bright red gums, dribbling, and wobbling, and difficulty standing up. Certain dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than others: flat-faced dogs like pugs and Pekingese, larger dogs, and those with thick coats should be watched in particular. Visit a trusted veterinarian, such as allen vet clinic, immediately if you suspect that your dog is suffering from heatstroke.
Keep your dog cool
Dogs need to be kept cool during heightened temperatures to prevent them from overheating. Fortunately, there are several fun tricks you can use to keep your dog cool on a hot day. Firstly, keep them hydrated by providing plenty of water bowls around your home and garden, and giving them chilled treats like homemade pupsicles. Ensure that there are shady areas outside for them to lounge in, like gazebos, and you could even fill a paddling pool so that they can cool their paws. Stashing an ice pack, or block of ice wrapped in a towel, in your dog’s bed will help to keep them cool while they sleep.
Groom for hot weather
Dogs that have particularly thick and hairy coats, such as poodles and Pekingese, find it more difficult to cope in hot weather than shorter-haired breeds like chihuahuas. Help your dog out by getting them groomed regularly and perhaps considering a summer haircut to help them keep cool. If you don’t feel confident in using the clippers yourself, find a trusted dog groomer to give your dog a cool and stylish hot-weather haircut.
Plan exercise on hot days
Dogs need regular exercise to burn off excess energy and remain fit and healthy. However, there are some extra considerations you should bear in mind when exercising them on hot days. Avoid walking during the hottest part of the day. Instead, go either early in the morning or later in the evening when it will be cooler for both of you. Avoid hot pavements and roads as these can burn your dog’s paws. Instead, keep to shady and grassy areas, and take regular breaks from play sessions so that your dog doesn’t overheat in the hot summer.
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