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10 Important safety tips to keep your dog cool this summer

Make sure your dog can enjoy summer days as much as the rest of your family.
Make sure your dog can enjoy summer days as much as the rest of your family.
365thingstodoeastside.wordpress.com

Summer is the time for swimming, hiking, day trips and vacations. Many dog-lovers enjoy bringing their canine companion along on day trips and vacations. However, dogs can experience heat stroke very quickly so it is important to utilize the following safety tips for keeping your dog safe and cool this summer. Please view the suggested articles at the end of this article for more summer safety tips.

Plastic Doggie Wading Pool
Plastic Doggie Wading Pool fox19morning.blogspot.com

Plastic Doggie Wading Pool

This inexpensive plastic wading pool is a great way to help your dog stay cool in hot weather. Some dogs like to lay in the water or splash around in it. Others just enjoy having a large supply of clean drinking water. Walmart.com sells a doggie pool for just $10. To prevent mosquitoes make sure to empty out the pool and refill it at least once a week. This item is durable and can be used for years.

Lixit Thirsty Dog Water Bottle
Lixit Thirsty Dog Water Bottle www.valleyvet.com

Lixit Thirsty Dog Water Bottle

The Lixit Thirsty Dog water bottle is an easy way to carry water for your dog with you on walks, hikes or day trips. The bottle is filled though the top and once the cap is securely fastened, the bottle can be carried by the shoulder strap or tied to a backpack or belt. To use this system, simply flip down the blue rubber case and it becomes a portable water bowl. Unscrew the pop top and squeeze the bottle to pour water into the bowl section. Your dog can lap at his leisure and then the bowl can be folded back in place again. Walmart.com sells this item for only $5.77.

The Danger of Ice and Cold Treats
The Danger of Ice and Cold Treats thefivedogblog.blogspot.com

The Danger of Ice and Cold Treats

Giving your dog ice, cold drinks or frozen treats can be not only dangerous, but deadly. If your dog is already hot and he eats or drinks something that is very cold, this can lead to bloat, a condition where the stomach flips and goes into muscle spasms. This condition is fatal without immediate veterinary intervention. See the suggested reading at the end of this article for more information on the dangers of bloat from ingesting frozen or cold food. Some experts claim that ice is not dangerous unless the dog is already overheated. However, since it is impossible to tell just by looking whether your dog is beginning to overheat, the safest option is to avoid ice and frozen treats altogether. The best way to hydrate your dog is with room temperature water, making sure that your dog does not quickly drink an excessive amount of water.

Using Shade
Using Shade vettechcheck.wordpress.com

Using Shade

Shade is one of the most natural ways to help your dog cool off. Whenever you leave your dog outside in hot weather, make sure that your pet has at least one shady area to rest in. While hiking or taking a long walk, allow your dog to take rest breaks in the shade periodically.

Sunrise and Sunset Walks
Sunrise and Sunset Walks www.beapackleaderdogwalkingclub.com

Sunrise and Sunset Walks

Even on the hottest of summer days, the weather is noticeably cooler around sunrise and sunset. If you enjoy working out with your pet, schedule your runs either early in the morning or later in the evening, before dark.

Shaving Does Not Cool Your Dog
Shaving Does Not Cool Your Dog www.ovenbakedtradition.com

Shaving Does Not Cool Your Dog

Shaving your double-coated longhaired dog in the summer does not make your dog cooler. Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat, so having no hair and exposing their skin directly to the heat can actually make them overheat more quickly. Bare skin also exposes your dog to sunburn, mosquitoes and tick bites. A double-layered coat actually insulates your pet from the heat and helps him stay cooler. If a double-coated dog is shaved down to the skin, the beautiful long coat may never grow back completely. Senior dogs should rarely be shaved to the skin because it takes them much longer to grow back their hair. Many common and popular breeds are double-coated:

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • American Eskimo
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Border Collie
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Collie
  • German Shepherd
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Keeshond
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pomeranian
  • Samoyed
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Siberian Husky
  • St. Bernard
  • Yorkshire Terrier
Water Supply in the Car
Water Supply in the Car Joy Austin

Water Supply in the Car

Whenever you take your dog on a car trip in the summer, keep a plastic milk jug full of clean water and a lightweight portable dish in the car. At the beginning and end of long walks or hikes, pour a moderate amount of water in the bowl and allow your dog to drink his fill. Offering water before a walk or playtime in the heat is a great way to prevent heat exhaustion.

High Risk Breeds
High Risk Breeds www.dog-breeds.findthebest.com

High Risk Breeds

Dogs with short noses have a harder time breathing in the heat and more quickly succumb to heat exhaustion. Many popular breeds are included in this high-risk category:

  • American Bulldog
  • Bichon Frise
  • Boston Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Chow Chow
  • French Bulldog
  • Llasa Apsa
  • Maltese
  • Papillon
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Yorkshire Terrier
Heat Alerts
Heat Alerts www.valleynewslive.com

Heat Alerts

For your dog's safety and welfare make a point of looking up the expected high temperature each day. Dogs cool themselves primarily through panting, which helps them exchange warm air for cooler air. However, when the air temperature draws close to the dog's normal body temperature of 103 degrees, panting may not help. When the predicted temperature reaches the upper 90's and low 100's, your dog should not be left outside for any length of time. If your dog is normally an outside dog, you can set up a special room for him inside such as a bathroom or laundry room with a solid floor that is easy to clean.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is most likely in elderly dogs, young puppies, and flat-nosed breeds. Early symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy panting, difficulty breathing and bright red tongue and gums. More severe symptoms include lethargia, laying down and refusing to get up, bloody diarrhea and shakiness. Eventually the lips and gums turn grey and the dog experiences seizures, coma and death. The safest way to help your dog cool down is to bring him inside and lay wet, but not cold cloths against the inner thigh. If outside, you can spray down your dog with a hose for up to 2 minutes. Severe cases require immediate emergency veterinary treatment.