Helping Your Dog Survive the Summer Heat
With the dog days of summer quickly approaching, dog owners need to be wary of the health risks the higher temperatures pose to the pets. Dogs only sweat a minimal amount, but only through their pads. The main way they cool themselves off is by panting more.
However, higher temperatures drastically reduce the effectiveness of panting, especially when there is a lot of humidity in the air. Here are some of the most important things you need to do when caring for a dog in summer heat.
Most importantly, you need to ensure that your dog always has a fresh supply of water. Staying hydrated is crucial whenever hot weather abounds. Don’t just place a dish out in the morning and expect it to last all day. Change it out as much as possible.
If you have a small pool, your dog would probably enjoy using it. You would have to stick around to monitor him though to ensure nothing went wrong though. Never leave the pool full of water for too long. Your dog doesn’t need to be around stagnant water, not to mention that it will also attract problematic mosquitoes and other bugs.
The sun will obviously shine quite a bit during the summer. Dogs don’t need to be exposed for it for lengthy periods of time. Having trees in your yard will provide shade, but that won’t be quite good enough. Your dog should have a shelter to retreat to whenever he needs to escape the heat. Remember, the shelter needs to provide adequate ventilation though, something that dog houses with solid walls don’t offer much of.
Even when it’s hot outside, your dog will still needs to get his daily exercise. It’s a good idea to go early in the morning or later in the day. At these times, it won’t be as hot outside and the risks of heat-related problems will be minimized. Never exercise your dog too much when it’s too hot outside.
While out there, make sure you bring enough water for you both. If you notice your dog slowing down or starting to pant more heavily, then give him more water to drink. You will also need to rest for a little while to give him time to recover.
Speaking of health problems, it’s vital that dog owners learn to spot signs that something is wrong. As mentioned a moment ago, heavy panting is one of the main signs. If you feel the skin, it will be noticeably dry. Signs of weakness or fatigue are also quite common, and some dogs even collapse.
Certain breeds are more prone to heat-related problems. Those with shorter noses or flatter faces are particularly susceptible. It’s also important to be careful with dogs that already have heart, respiratory, or weight problems.