Hot Dogs Need Help to Stay Cool | Blogs

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Hot Dogs Need Help to Stay Cool
Blogs, Pets, Weather
Hot Dogs Need Help to Stay Cool

As temperatures continue (we hope) to rise here in Maine, consider your dog’s comfort and health in the summer heat.  Dogs’ systems are less efficient than humans at cooling, leaving them susceptible to overheating.  They have limited sweat glands in their noses and paw pads, and need our help in shaping their environment for comfort and safety.  Here are some tips to help with this:

Exercise your dog in the early a.m. or early p.m., avoiding the hottest hours of the day.  Sidewalks can heat up in the hot sun and be painful for paws, as can the sand on a hot beach.  

Provide shade in your yard if your dog is outside on hot days.  A strategically-placed umbrella or awning may be necessary if you don’t have shade trees to lie under.

Be sure water bowls are filled with cold water, as the day’s heat will quickly make the water warm up.  Clean bowls and change water frequently, adding a few ice cubes.  If your dog is a reluctant drinker, try freezing broth or the water from cans of tuna in ice cube trays and offer as a cooling snack.

Consider a summer cut for your longer-haired pooch.  A close-crop for summer will keep your dog cooler and also help with the detection of ticks after outdoor activities.      

Fair-skinned dogs with short coats can get sunburned.  Avoid direct sunlight...but also consider a sunscreen (for dogs) for the bridge of the nose, forehead and other sensitive/exposed areas.

When taking your dog out for activities such as hikes, place a bandana saturated with cool water around his/her neck.  Carry lots of water in your back pack for your dog as well.

Water in streams and ponds can heat up considerably in the summer, making the presence of bacteria higher and exposing your dog to possible bacterial illnesses (giardia) and wet dermatitis (hot spots).  Carefully rinse and dry your dog after allowing him/her to swim in lakes, streams, ponds and even the ocean.  A summer bath using anti-bacterial soap isn’t a bad idea either.

If it’s hot in the house for YOU to sleep comfortably at night, consider your pet’s comfort as well.  Place a fan near your dog’s sleeping quarters to circulate air.  If your dog sleeps in a crate, perhaps relocate it to a cool area of the house during the heat.

NEVER leave your dog in the car in the hot weather....even for a short period of time!  

Blogs, Pets, Weather