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Beating the heat with Fido

A Basset Hound keeping cool by the fan!
A Basset Hound keeping cool by the fan!
Google Images

With the dog days of summer in full swing, the temperature in Seattle has hovered between 80-90 degrees F lately. Compared to other places around the country- it’s not that bad, especially when the humidity is only around 10%. But that means many folks around the city don’t have that most heavenly of inventions right now- air conditioning. And our furry friends are suffering right along with us in this heat.

So how do we keep our canine companions comfortable? Many of the same ways we keep ourselves more comfortable.

What to AVOID:

Keep them out of the sun for long periods of time. This could result in heat stroke or sun burn.

Avoid activity during the heat of the day when possible. Short potty breaks are preferable.

Avoid walking on cement or sand that’s been baking in the sun all day. If it would burn your feet, it could burn your pooch’s paw pads.

Never leave your dog in the car for ANY length of time. Mere minutes could mean death.

What TO do:

Make sure there’s shade available if you’re outside.

Take your dog for walks during the cooler parts of day like early mornings and late evenings.

Keep to the grass as cement can get very hot with the sun beating down on it all day. Booties are a way to get around that if your dog is tolerant enough.

Keep windows open when you’re inside. Often our homes can be hotter inside than it is outside. Also having ventilation and the occasional breeze is nice.

Fans; enough said!

Bandanas soaked in cold water, rung out, and placed around the neck could feel good.

Head to the beach! Magnuson off leash area has Seattle’s only dog sanctioned beach. It’s small and rocky but the waters of Lake Washington are nice and cool. Check out Magnuson Off Leash Group for more info. Or if your dog doesn't like to socialize with other canines, a kiddie pool or the sprinkler can be great.

And now to debunk the annual myth that roles around this time of year: dogs and the dangers of giving them ice cubes or ice water. The greatest danger your dog will face if eating ice cubes is breaking a tooth. They can be given safely in their water or as a treat. There’s no truth to cold water causing stomach cramping or bloat. So feel free to give frozen treats like doggie ice cream.

The bottom line is this: if you’re conscientious, both you and your pooch can have a safe, fun summer. And always make sure they have fresh water available to them!

And check out these previous summer related articles:

'Just a minute' can be deadly

Summer hazards for dogs