Things You Probably Haven’t Thought about for Your Dog in Summer
July 9, 2018 |
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If you’re like us, you’ve been waiting for summer to roll back around from the second the first leaf turned brown last year. And if your dog is anything like our dog, they’ve been ready for summer just as badly.
But despite your dog’s happy, tail-wagging, tongue-lolling demeanor, the dog days of summer can be a little ruff (get it?). Make sure your pooch can enjoy summer just as much as you with these quick tips.
Would you walk barefoot through the city?
Probably not, right? The cement sidewalks are hot, and the asphalt can get hot enough to fry an egg (though we wouldn’t recommend eating it), so it’s not the safest place for bare tootsies. So why subject your dog’s feet to the same torture?
To avoid burning Fido’s feet, try to take your walks in the early morning or late in the evening/at night when things are a little cooler. Fido can still get his exercise without having to sacrifice a layer of protection on his feet.
If you can’t make those times work, make sure you protect the puppy paws with dog booties. While it might be hilarious to watch your dog struggle with the new sensation of boots on his feet, he’ll thank you with lots of snuggles and kisses in the future when he survives the summer without burns to his paws. Just like you don’t want his feet to freeze in winter, don’t let them burn in summer either.
Sweating the small stuff
Dogs don’t sweat, so they can’t cool themselves the same way humans do. Instead, they pant. But be sure you watch just how much Spot is panting. An overheated dog will pant fast and shallow, and one suffering from heatstroke may be lethargic, drooling, have a fever, start vomiting, or even collapse.
If you see Spot suffering from any of the symptoms of heatstroke, get him to the vet STASAP (Sooner Than As Soon As Possible). Heatstroke in dogs can cause organ damage that may be permanent, or even death. Dogs with small noses (like pugs and bulldogs) have a harder time panting and are at a higher risk of getting heatstroke.
Because dogs are so close to the ground, and heat rises from the ground, it’s easy for them to become overheated quickly. Try to limit your dog’s time in the sun by providing him with lots of cool shade, keeping him indoors with a fan or AC as much as possible, and with lots of water.
On the rocks
In addition to protecting your dog from heatstroke, you’ve got to keep a sharp eye out for dehydration too. Panting helps your dog expel heat (and plenty of doggie breath), but it also makes them drool more than usual, which can cause them to become dehydrated if they don’t replace that water.
Give Scruffy plenty of extra water this summer to help keep him nice and hydrated. If you’re worried that your dog might be dehydrated, take him to the vet — it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re not sure, check for symptoms like lethargy, bloodshot eyes, and a slightly paler look. If you lift your dog’s skin and it takes longer than usual to go back into place, it’s probably best to head to the vet. Overweight dogs are at a higher risk for dehydration.
So make sure you bring a Scruffy-only water bottle with you on walks to the park (do you really want to share with that slobber-puss?). And try serving your dog’s water on the rocks. He’ll probably appreciate the extra cool crunch of the ice cubes in his water.
It’s too darn hot
Ella Fitzgerald sang it best — sometimes it’s too darn hot to do pretty much anything. And even though you and Patches love your hour-long walk or run every day, it might be good to consider cutting it down a little during the summer. The longer you’re both out there, the higher the risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Don’t let the summer heat bring you down.
Find some unique and cool ways to help Patches cool off this summer. If you’ve got AC, make sure you keep it at a comfortable temperature while you’re at work so your dog is happy as can be. If not, set up a fan in a shady corner so your pooch can easily cool off when things get a little ruff. If you’ve got outdoor space, a $5 plastic kiddie pool half-filled with water (and maybe a few ice cubes) can make for the perfect summer game for Patches.
We all love summer. And we all love dogs. But summer doesn’t always love dogs. Make sure your pooch has the best summer ever with a few extra precautions. Don’t let those dog days of summer get your best friend down.