Now that the thermometer is regularly touching triple digits, it’s time to keep a close eye on our furry friends and add a few precautions to keep them from getting dehydrated. They don’t check the weather channel to be able to prepare for heat waves and get tips on hydrating up and chilling out, so it’s up to us to make sure we help them stay cool during hot spells.
1. Keep your dog in the coolest possible place.
For many people, this means inside the house with the air conditioning going. If you don’t have AC, keep all the shades drawn and fans blowing. Hardwood floors and tile floors are often much cooler than carpet for your dog to lay on.
2. Keep plenty of fresh, filtered drinking water available.
Make sure that your dog has access to water both inside and outside at all times. Keep the outdoor bowl fresh and clean by regularly washing it and adding fresh water. You can add ice cubes to the bowl, to keep it from heating up in temperature.
3. Don’t exercise during the daytime.
Walk during early morning hours or after dusk. The pavement on a hot day can burn the pads on your dog’s feet and cause them to overheat. You can verify this by taking your shoes off and walking barefoot on concrete for a few minutes midday. Ouch! Forget about frying an egg!
4. Look for signs of overheating.
Dogs don’t sweat, they pant. The only way for a dog to release heat is through panting, so watch for excessive panting, drooling, and lethargy. Lots of water, and even a cold bath, can help cool a hot dog down quickly.
5. Do more than just drink the water!
It’s a great time to use swimming as an alternative form of exercise, if your dog enjoys it. Or how about filling a wading pool with cold water and letting your dog soak it up? Keep the pool in the shade and freshen the water regularly. If your dog loves to play with the hose water, make a fun game out of it. If gently spraying your dog to cool him off, try using a squirt bottle with ice water or a wet washcloth applied to their belly.
Remember, they can’t pour themselves a nice cold glass of water, or take a cold shower on their own, so be sure to look for signs your dog is telling you he’s hot, and help your fur coat-wearing loved one stay cool during these dog days of summer!
Warm weather is here and it’s time to start thinking about your pet’s safety. Here’s a list of some safety tips to keep your best friend(s) happy and enjoying the summer fun:
Never leave animals alone in the car. Even when it’s only 70 degrees outside, your car can reach 90 degrees on the inside within 10 minutes greatly increasing the risk of heat stroke.
Repeat… Never leave animals alone in the car. Even if you leave it running! Your dog could accidentally put the car in gear or cause other damage.
Think about your dog’s feet when walking. A 77 degree day means that the asphalt on the street is 125 degrees if it’s sunny outside. We know you don’t want to walk barefoot on that, neither do they! Try taking a walk in the early morning before it heats up.
Make sure there is pleanty of water. Dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating like we do. Panting is the only option they have. Make sure there is access to cool, clean water to drink.
Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes abound when it’s warm out. Make sure your pet is protected as to not get heart worms, lyme disease or others.
Read the label on that yard treatment. Although everyone wants a nice green yard with no weeds, the treatment you put down may poison your pet. Read the label to ensure it is safe.
Ensure tags are up-to-date and readable. Summertime is when everyone is outside and the chances for a dog to get out increase. To help them get back to you quickly, make sure tags are up to date with your mobile number.
Plan ahead for vacations. If Fido is going with you, make sure to book dog friendly hotels in advance so they are not full. If they are not going, make sure a dog sitter or kennel is booked. No one wants to cancel a vacation at the last minute because Fido doesn’t have a place to go.
Get rid of the winter coats. You put your’s away, so should they. Shedding is natural and helps remove some of the winter fur, but your best friend could use some help. Shaving is never a good option since it opens their skin up to burning but a good dog grooming will help rmove the excess fur.
Summertime is here and that means lots of activities for you and your best friend but it also means chances for danger. While out and about with your dog this summer, remember these pet safety rules.
Never leave your dog in a car alone, even if the windows are down.
Even on a nice 80 degree day, your car can heat up over 100 degrees or more in 10 minutes. Dogs have heat strokes at 110 degrees. Cracking the window still does not allow enough ventilation for all the heat to escape and opening it too much will allow your dog the ability to jump out. If you can’t take your dog with you every where that you go, leave him at home. Trust us, he will appreciate it more.
Never put your dog in the back of a pickup truck without being in a crate properly restrained.
Yes, we know he may “like” it, but it’s not safe. Dogs are easily distracted by many things, squirrels being one of the most popular items. You do no want your dog jumping out of the back of a moving vehicle. And do not use just a leash to keep them from jumping as your dog could hang themselves by accident. If your dog has to ride in the back, please crate them with the proper restraints and protection from the wind. Just like how you like being protected by the windshield, so do they.
Asphalt heats up quickly, protect your dog’s paws
Black asphalt, as with any black items, heats up quickly in the sun light. Don’t walk your dog during the heat of the day and if you do, check the temperature of the asphalt. If it burns your hands it can burn the pads on their feet.
Ensure your dog has plenty of shade while outside
If you must leave your dog outside for any amount of time, ensure that they have plenty of shade as to not get sunburned or over heated.
Keep their water fresh and full
During the summer
water evaporates fast and is a place where parasites can grow. Remember to replace their water daily and to keep it full so that your dog does not dehydrate.
Go to the groomer
Imagine if you had to have a fur coat on all summer. While a dog’s hair does have built in heat management, they need help. Take yours to a dog groomer to get their undercoat brushed out so that the air can flow thru easily cooling your dog. Never shave down to the skin as their skin can burn just like yours.
Keep them on a leash
We know, it’s summer and everyone wants to run free, but unless it’s an off leash dog park or your fenced back yard, always keep your best friend on a leash. It will help keep them from getting lost, getting into a fight with other dogs or being hit by a car.
Keep the cocktails and food on high ground
Everyone loves a cookout, so does your dog.
Remember that your dog doesn’t know which foods and drinks are good for them, they only know what smells good to them. Cocktails and beer can lead to alcohol poisoning fast.
So you’re self-quarantined, you’re out of Netflix shows you “want” to watch, you don’t want to go to the dog park, your dog has the zoomies and they have destroyed all the new toys… what to do? Here’s some games you can play with your best friend to get off the couch and get some of that great puppy bonding time!
Hide and Seek This game may start with teaching your dog how to sit and stay. Start by having him sit and stay while you place a favorite toy (squeaky ones are a favorite in our house) where he can see it, but away from him (like across the room). Use your release word (ours is “OK”) and let him go fetch the toy, making sure to allow enough time to celebrate the reward of waiting patiently, by dancing around with his toy in his mouth. You can make this game more and more complicated, incrementally, by moving further and further away with the toy, around a corner, to another room, up a flight of stairs and eventually by hiding the toy in places where your dog could eventually find it. When hiding the toy, think about a child’s Easter egg hunt. Don’t make it too hard, you do want your dog to be successful, eventually!
Keep Away There are many variations on this game. With two people, you can simply toss a toy or ball back and forth to each other, letting your dog chase it in each direction. We’ve even gone as far as to use tennis rackets and a tennis ball in the garage, for greater distance. Be sure to “accidentally” drop the ball once in a while, to keep your dog a part of the game.
Agility Training You can get very creative at home with simple props, like a hula hoop. Start by using a piece of kibble to coax your dog to walk through the hoop, as it rests on the floor. Once your dog is used to walking through the hoop on ground level, lift it off the ground one inch at time. By the end of a very rainy week, you might have your pal leaping through the hoop a couple of feet off the ground!
Puzzles and Toys There are many treat-dispensing and puzzle toys on the market for dogs now. These toys are mentally challenging, requiring your dogs to ‘figure out’ how to get the treat out from it’s hiding spot. Look for sturdy toys that will withstand heavy chewing.
Fetch A hallway with doors closed makes for a perfect runway for a game of fetch. A straight stairwell does, too. Use a plush ball or toy to avoid the ball going in all directions and to get the most distance out of running to fetch.
Mental and physical exercise are both an important part of your’s and your dog’s health. It’s fun, relieves boredom, and can be extremely bonding for the both of you!