As the temperatures begin to rise, we pull out our shorts and tank tops as well as our swimsuits. What do we need to do to care for our dogs in the summer weather? We provide you with 10 tips based off Cesar Millan’s Top Summer Tips.
Exercise early in the morning or later at night
When contemplating when the best time is to take your dog out for their daily walk, beating the heat and going in the morning or waiting for the heat to burn off later at night are the best options. Dogs aren’t all that different from you, their owner, in this respect – do you want to go for a walk/run in 90 degree weather or before/after that heat has arrived?
Protect your dog’s paws!
We all know heat rises. But have you ever thought about the fact that your dog absorbs (and releases) heat from their paws that come in direct contact with hot asphalt, cement, etc.? Purchasing a pair of doggie shoes/boots for your dog to wear during a walk in the heat will help prevent their paws from being burned, causing enormous discomfort.
CAUTION: Possible Dehydration Ahead
When humans get hot, we sweat. When dogs get hot, they pant. If a dog is overheated, they will drool more than usual, become very slow-moving, etc. Keep your eyes out for these signs to treat your dog the moment dehydration hits. Or, you could follow the next tip to avoid dehydration altogether.
Provide your dog with water at all times. Going on a walk? Take an extra water bottle to let your dog drink out of along the way. Having a BBQ with friends in the backyard? Make sure your dog has an extra water dish outside with you. Just like you, your dog needs to consume lots of water in order to stay hydrated, which will also help keep them cool.
Be creative to keep cool
Even if you don’t have air conditioning in your home, you can come up with creative ways to keep your dog cooled off. Lay a wet towel outside in the shade for your dog to lay on, turn on a fan with a pan of ice in front of it, etc.
Spray from the bottom up
Dogs cool from the bottom up. When spraying your dog with water, don’t forget to spray their paws and the bottom of their stomach as well. Spraying just their back won’t do the trick!
Dogs don’t just dig out of frustration – they naturally dig to find foot, shelter, etc. as well as to keep themselves cool.
Check the weather
No, not you, your dog! You can whip out your smartphone to check the weather; your dog doesn’t have that luxury. This means your dog has no idea why you won’t take them for a walk in the heat. Let your dog step outside to get a feel for the weather. They will understand why they must be inside or can’t go for a walk once they feel for themselves.
Parked cars are no place for dogs!
No matter where the car is parked, the car will be hotter than any open space. This is no place for a dog (or a human or any other living thing, for that matter) to be. Plus, when people walk by your dog may get overexcited or panic as their owner is away, causing them to overheat from movement and/or worry.
Go swim because your dog needs you to
You still want to get enough exercise in for your dog during the summer despite the heat. Instead of taking them for a walk, take them out for a swim! Hold on to your dog and let them lead you around the pool, just like if you were on a walk. If you take your dog to open waters, be aware of tides, jellyfish, etc. to keep your dog safe.