When it starts to get warmer outside, you may be rejoicing, but a lot of dogs are silently cursing the changes in weather. While a fur coat is warm and luxurious in the winter, in the summertime, it can be a lot more uncomfortable, so it’s important to pay close attention to your dog’s well being if you spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer months. If you keep your dog inside more when it’s hot out because you’re concerned that they will overheat too quickly, keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure they’re getting enough activity in their days. Check out these tips for keeping your dog cool while ensuring they’re getting enough exercise.
Short of cranking the A/C and making your home feel like a movie theater, you might think there’s not much you can do to help your pooch stave off the heat. Thankfully, though, there are a few things that can be very helpful. Obviously, you always want to make sure to have water around for your dog, whether you’re in or outdoors. If you’re outside, make sure that they have access to shaded areas. If your pup is white, light-colored, or thinly coated, you’ll need to watch for sunburn, as well.
Maintain their Coats
One thing you might have heard that giving your dog a haircut can do the job—this actually should be avoided, as it can do more harm than good. Your dog’s coat provides a buffer to help them regulate their body temperature, and getting rid of that can actually make them warmer.
Quick Cool Downs
If your dog looks to be getting too warm, even inside, putting washcloths with room temperature water on them, and then placing your dog in front of a fan can be a good way to cool them down—don’t use ice water, as this can make their blood vessels contract, which actually traps heat.
As for treats that can beat the heat, try freezing plain Greek yogurt in ice cube trays. Give one of these cubes to your pup and it’ll give them a cool, refreshing treat. Another popsicle-esque idea is to fill up a Kong chew toy with the squeeze-tube treat, then freeze the entire thing—it’s kind of like frozen yogurt, and your dog will love it!
Make Sure the Dog Days of Summer Aren’t Spent Lazing
You probably won’t be able to walk your pup for as long as you normally would once it gets hot outside. Try and plan your walks for earlier in the morning or after sunset so that they can escape the heat. If you can’t do that but still have to shorten their regular walks to avoid the heat, it can be beneficial to hire a dog walker to ensure that another walk gets added in to make up for the shortened other walks.
If your dog likes water, going to a dog-friendly beach or setting up a kiddie pool with very shallow water in the yard can be fun for them, too. If you go the water route, just make sure to supervise your dog the entire time, as some dogs may not know how to swim.
For a safer option that still involves water, let them run through the sprinkler in the yard. If you’re outside with your dog, keep an eye on their feet, as their paws can get too hot.
The main takeaway with making sure your dog gets enough exercise during the summer is to be sure they’re still given enough time to be active without overheating—that may mean shorter but more walks overall, and it might mean getting creative and playing fetch indoors.