Taking Care of Your Pooch
While there is no better time than summer to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, it also pays to be aware of the dangers of summer heat – for you as well as for your four-legged friends. Knowing how to protect your pooch from hot weather is important, and can help ensure that your canine companions are enjoying the weather just as much as you are. Be sure to keep these tips in mind throughout the warmer months of the year.
First and foremost, always ensure that there is water available for your furry friends. Dehydration can occur very quickly, and can prove to be extremely dangerous for pets. Any time you and your family go outside with pets for an extended period of time, be sure that there is fresh, clean water available for them. In addition to ensuring that your pets have a fresh water supply, also ensure that they have a way to escape from direct sunlight. Give them access to a shady spot such as a covered patio, or to an area with enough coverage from trees and brush that they’re able to cool down when needed.
Additionally, be aware of indicators that your pet is becoming overheated. Your furry friend wants to spend as much time with you as possible and doesn’t have a way of telling you that it’s time for them to head indoors. While panting is normal, excessive, labored, or noisy panting can be an indicator that they are reaching a point of heat exhaustion. If a dog appears wobbly or weak, they should be given access to water and taken to a cooler spot immediately. Bear in mind that certain breeds, especially those with shortened muzzles (such as pugs) or thicker coats (such as huskies), may be more sensitive to the heat than other breeds. Be attentive to any special needs that your furry friend may have in the warmer months.
While it may be tempting to shave a dog with long fur to help them cool down in the summer months, most veterinarians advise against it. A dog’s coat can help protect them from sunburn as well as from overheating. Trimming is typically a better option and keeps the layers of their coat intact to better protect them from the sun. If you’re unsure about what’s best for your dog, be sure to speak with a skilled groomer to come up with the best summer style for your pooch.
And finally, remember – if it’s too hot for you to spend an extended amount of time outside, it’s likely too hot for your pet. Do not leave a dog outside and unattended for a prolonged period and, if it is necessary to leave them outside, be sure to check their water at least once hourly to be sure that they have a fresh and clean supply. Be sure to pay attention to factors such as concrete – if it’s too hot for you to touch, it’s probably too hot for them to lay on or walk on – and ensure that they have a comfortable space where they can get away from the sun. Paying attention to your pet’s needs is your best course of action in ensuring that they have a summer full of fun in the sun with your family.