CHILLIN' IN THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Posted on August 17 2020
It’s so hot that you’ve stripped down to the essentials—and you wish you had another layer to take off. Well, your dog is jealous.
While seasonal shedding helps, many dogs are still prone to overheating in the height of summer. Breeds that originated in hotter climes have an advantage, but those with short snouts (brachycephalic) are less suited to the heat, so people with pugs, bulldogs, and similar breeds need to take extra care.
Other vulnerable dogs are those that have a chronic illness, are overweight, or are in their twilight years.
Long-haired breeds can benefit from a visit to the groomer in the summer, says the American Veterinary Medical Association: “Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long coats (talk to your veterinarian first to see if it's appropriate for your pet).” The AMVA also recommends applying sunscreen to your dog’s skin if she has a thin coat.
Easy ways to keep your pet cool
- Make sure cold, fresh water (with ice cubes) is available all the time and encourage your pet to drink.
- If you have a yard, set aside a shady area for your dog. No trees? Trying hanging a sun shade or heavy sheet to create a cool zone.
- Pets in apartments need fans or air-conditioning on hot days. If you have to leave them home for a few hours, keep the air on and leave the bathroom door open so they can seek out the cool tiles to lie on.
- Beat the heat by taking your longest walks early in the day and late in the evening. Remember to carry a bottle of water with an attachable dog spout or a small bowl to pour it in. (Don’t forget your own bottle!)
- If you must go for walks during the day, aim for the shadier side of the street and steer clear of heat-absorbing sidewalks or roads that can toast your dog’s paws.
- Have a water-loving dog? Let them splash and cool off in a wading pool with shallow water.
- Buy a waterproof cooling mat for your pup to lie on, or go old-school and spread out a wet towel.
- Just like people, dogs enjoy frozen treats. These suggestions from the American Kennel Club are healthy, chilling, and easy to make.