Keeping Cool This Summer: Top 10 Tips for Helping Dogs Beat the Heat

Keeping Cool This Summer: Top 10 Tips for Helping Dogs Beat the Heat

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HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, July 1, 2024 / — As the weather heats up, it will take some extra effort to keep a dog cool. While humans have their ways of staying cool, like turning on the AC or pouring an iced drink, dogs are more limited in their options. Not only do they have fur that can trap heat, but their bodies also lack the sweat glands humans have. Though they do have sweat glands in their feet, these are of little help for cooling. This is where humans come in to help dogs stay cool and comfortable this summer. Here are ten top tips:

1. Take Walks in the Early Morning or at Night: When the sun is at its peak, the pavement and other surfaces heat up, which can impact a dog’s sensitive paw pads. Going on walks during the early morning hours or late at night can prevent this discomfort. On particularly hot days, try limiting a dog’s activity levels to the coolest times of the day. If a dog tires out quickly, it may be best to wait until the heatwave passes altogether.

2. Provide Plenty of Shade: If planning on being outdoors for long periods, bring a shade structure, such as an umbrella or small tent. This way, a dog can access shade in between bursts of activity.

3. Offer Plenty of Water and Frozen Treats: Access to cool water is a must in the summer, for humans and dogs. Bring along a collapsible dog bowl and refill it with water throughout the activity to keep the dog hydrated. Look into getting some frozen, dog-friendly food, like popsicles made specifically for canines. These tasty snacks should include natural ingredients like chicken broth, fruits, and veggies, as well as added vitamins and minerals. Some people freeze treats, such as peanut butter cubes, inside Kong toys, so that a dog has something delicious to look forward to when they come back from a walk.

4. Trim Their Fur—But Not Too Much: If a dog has a thick, long-haired coat, trimming it down in the summer can be helpful. This can reduce the amount of heat trapped on their body from the sun, allowing them to better regulate their body temperature in hot weather. Make sure to brush out any tangles that can occur due to higher humidity levels before trimming; this will help the dog feel more comfortable during the process. Shaving a dog is not recommended in most cases—dogs’ coats act as a protective barrier for the skin, guarding them from sunburn. Shaving may actually produce an overheating effect, so regular, proper grooming is a much better course of action.

5. Bathe the Dog: Bathing regularly is another great way to keep a dog cool during the summer. Bathing removes excess dirt, oils, and allergens that can build up on their fur, as well as reduces the possibility of allergies and skin irritation. Make sure not to bathe too often; about once every four to six weeks should suffice. Overbathing can strip away natural oils that help keep a dog’s skin healthy and hydrated.

6. Consider Cooling Products: There are pet products designed to cool off dogs. Cooling bandanas, for example, come in a variety of sizes and can help reduce overheating during outdoor activities. There are also cooling mats and beds, which often use gel packs to store coldness and disperse it over time when pressed against a dog’s fur coat. This can be helpful when a dog is laying down to rest.

7. Avoid Hot Surfaces: Whenever possible, take a dog on walks on grass or dirt instead of asphalt or concrete. Grass and dirt are potentially more comfortable and often cooler on their paws. Just watch out for any sharp objects on the ground.

8. Try Dog Shoes: If walking on asphalt or concrete cannot be avoided altogether, and the summer sun is intense, consider investing in specialized dog shoes to help protect a dog’s paws from the scorching-hot ground. Make sure that these paw protectors fit well, are made of breathable materials, and have good grip. Have the dog wear them around the house first so they can adjust properly, then try a test walk around the block.

9. Consider Canine-Friendly Apparel: Similar to dog shoes, canine-friendly apparel may be a wise purchase for a dog. If a walk during peak sunny hours cannot be avoided, or if taking a long outdoor trip, consider putting a sun shirt or hat on the dog. These can protect their skin from UV rays. Shirts can provide an extra layer of insulation from harsh temperatures as well.

10. Be Aware of the Risks: Finally, familiarize oneself with the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke in dogs. If it’s a hot day and difficulty breathing, excessive panting, weakness, vomiting, or anything else concerning is noticed, move the dog to a cool, shaded area and contact a veterinarian immediately. With these tips, a dog will remain cool and happy while enjoying the sunshine this season. Your Reliable Source for Houston Prepaid Electricity

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Jon Langley
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