The Dog Days of Summer Have Arrived
Heat affects dogs just like it affects people. I watched the local news last night and it is clear that we find ourselves right in the midst of the hottest part of Summer. For the next week or so, the actual temperatures are expected to be in the upper 90s with the heat index well over 100. Of course my first thought was what I could do to stay cool in such a heat wave. But what about our furry friends? Here are a few safety tips to keep your dog healthy and safe this Summer.
You must be sure that your dog always has plenty of cool water available to stay hydrated. Toss a few ice cubes into the water since your dog may like to chew on the hard cubes. If you want to give your canine pal a summer treat, make him a “popsicle”. Use low sodium chicken broth and freeze it into cubes for a cool and tasty treat. Lower your dog’s body temperature by letting her swim in the pool. If your dog has never done this before, ease him into the pool at the steps and stay in the pool with him. If you do not have a pool. consider buying a kiddy pool. My Brittany, Rusty, used to like to wallow around in a kiddy pool on hot Summer days.
Take Good Care of Your Dog’s Paws and Coat
Imagine walking barefoot on a hot sidewalk or across the burning sand on the beach. Your dog has very sensitive paws so whenever possible, let him walk on grass. You may want to consider buying dog booties to protect those paws! If he will be out in the sun for extended periods, apply doggie sun screen to avoid damaged skin. Dogs with longer hair require more frequent brushing to lighten the coat. Ever wondered about shaving your dog’s coat? It is NOT normally recommended. To lean more about this click here. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Never leave your pet in a car in the Summer. Even with the windows cracked, the car gets way too hot, way too fast. Interesting fact: dogs with short noses like pugs have a tougher time in the heat than canine with longer snouts. If you must take you dog in the car on a hot day, bring along a friend who can play with him in the shade while you do your errand. Maybe shop in a store that allows you to bring your furry friend inside. Have lunch at a sidewalk café which will probably allow your dog to rest under your table.
Obviously, keep your pet away from the grill. Ask the kids to play with him in another part of the yard. Tell your guests not to give him any “people food”. You sure don’t want to upset Fido’s tummy. Keep his favorite treats handy if your guests want to give him a reward. You may have to put your pal inside while the cookout takes place.
There may come a time when you have to evacuate your home due to a hurricane or other natural disaster. Plan ahead for your pet as well as yourself. You should know whether local shelters will allow you to bring your pet. Be sure you have enough pet food for several days, along with his bowl. You should also have all his vet records with you.
Fluffy is a member of your family. Don’t forget to keep him safe and healthy all through the year, but especially in the Summer.
Updated 7/18 for freshness and content.