No one likes to be hot and uncomfortable – not even your dog! There are things you can do though to make the summer easier to endure. Read below to learn five ways to keep your dog cool this summer.
5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
Give Them Some Ice
Drinking a cold glass of water after working out in the summer sun is refreshing. Just having something cold nearby can help deal with extreme temperatures. The same goes for Fido, too. Throw a few ice cubes in their water bowl to cool them down and refresh their dry mouths.
Make Sure Their Water is Fresh
When its hot, dogs are going to need to drink more than normal. So, make sure your dog’s water bowl is always full of fresh, cool water. If you are going to exercise or take your dog on a hike, bring along a small water bowl and water. Take frequent breaks so your dog gets to rest and take a sip of water.
Provide a Shady Spot
Will your dog be spending lots of time in your yard? Provide them with access to shade when the temperatures creep up. Your dog needs shade to keep from overheating and becoming sunburnt. Yes, even dogs can get sunburn.
Time your Walks
In the height of the summer heat, you can’t go too hard on exercise. Your dog needs exercise and stimulation, so be sure to keep summer walks short. If you prefer a longer workout, then target times of the day where the sun is low the temperatures are cooler – like early morning and dusk.
Prepare some Cool Treats
Besides ice, you can give your dog treats like frozen baby carrots, “pup-sicles” made from yogurt and dog-safe fruit, or frozen blocks of peanut butter. These take some time to eat and will offer some diversion from the oppression of a hot summer day.
Can I Shave My Dog to Keep Them Cool?
If you have a dog breed with a very thick coat, you might be tempted to give them a shave to make them more comfortable. These breeds may include:
- Siberian Husky
- Australian Shepherd
- Great Pyrenees
- Labrador or Golden Retriever
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Bernese Mountain Dog
It makes sense that these dogs have very thick coats. Most are used to either being outdoors for extended periods of time or are from very cold climates. If they are overheating quickly, removing some fur might help them cool down. Yes, the additional air flow might help them stay cooler. Dogs rely on their coats for more than just keeping them warm though.
A dog’s coat helps protect them from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you remove most of their hair, they will no longer be protected and can be hurt by exposure to the sun. Dogs also rely on their coat for insulation. They might be more comfortable in the summer heat, but what about when they go to bed in your air-conditioned home? Shaving your dog’s fur off may cause them to be too uncomfortable in the house.
Lastly, if your dog has a double coat, they are meant to have it. Growing back all that hair can take years for some breeds. By shaving them for the summer, you can set your dog up to be very uncomfortable during the winter months.
Summer should be a time to get out and enjoy being with your dog. Taking a few precautions can make sure you are both safe all summer long. If your dog is showing signs of heatstroke, such as high temperature, rapid breathing, or muscle tremors, cool your dog down with cold water to drink and take them directly to the veterinarian. A dehydrated dog is at risk for more serious medical complications.