When it comes to keeping canines cool on hot days, you need all the dog grooming tips and frozen treat recipes you can find. Mother Nature did not do dogs many favors in the cooling department. Think about it: the biggest organ of the human body–our skin–was custom made for cooling us down and keeping our bodies at a safe temperature. What do dogs have? A panting tongue, sweating from the pads on their feet…and a fur coat. Wow.
The takeaway? Dogs get overheated faster than people do and need help keeping cool!
A Trip to the Dog Groomer for a Shave will Help, Right?
Wrong. It seems counterintuitive that a trim would not be cooling. After all, for a human, a short crop or a nice buzz cut feels great in summer, but a good dog groomer will tell you that a close shave defeats the coat’s natural ability to circulate air. In addition, dogs–especially ones with light-colored coats–can suffer sunburns and skin cancer. A short cut puts pale-coated dogs at particular risk.
When it comes to dog grooming in summer, regular brushing offers the greatest benefit. It keeps the coat from matting, removes loose hair so air can circulate to the skin better, and helps in discovering hidden fleas and ticks.
Look at Summer Heat From a Pooch’s Perspective
Dangers exist for dogs that we never even suspect. Some things that pose minor nuisances to humans pose real risks to dogs. Don’t underestimate the following:
- Hot paving! If you can’t comfortably hold your bare hand on it, don’t ask your dog to walk on it with bare paws!
- There is no such thing as safely leaving a dog alone in a car in summer, not even for “just a sec”. Aside from being just plain cruel, the heat quickly becomes deadly to dogs.
- Don’t turn off the air conditioning when you leave your dog home alone. Like the inside of your car, the heat in a non-air-conditioned house can be too much. If you must turn off the AC, leave multiple fans running.
- In a similar vein, dog houses do not provide cool summer shade; they are basically ovens.
- Humidity wreaks havoc with a dog’s ability to cool itself by panting or sweating from the pads on their feet, causing the body’s temperature to soar dangerously. If the humidity is making you miserable, imagine what your pup is suffering.
Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion in canines can help you recognize when your dog gets too hot. Timely intervention can prevent a dangerous heat stroke.
5 Tips to Keep Your Canine Cool!
- Provide lots of cool, clean water (ice cubes are appreciated!). Make sure the bowl is heavy and stable so there’s no danger of it spilling out, leaving your dog high and dry. Dehydration is a real summer risk for dogs.
- Speaking of water, cool water on your dog’s coat can be delightful. Some dogs love to play in a hose or sprinkler. Others enjoy splashing in a wading pool or swimming in a lake or ocean. A wet towel should do the trick if your dog doesn’t generally like bathing or swimming.
- On super warm days, bring your pet inside during the hottest part of the day to chill in the air conditioning. Not an option? Set up a fan outside to provide a nice breeze for your furry buddy.
- Make your pet a batch of dog-friendly pupsicles! Delicious, immediate relief from the heat!
- For a longer lasting treat, a filled, frozen Kong will keep the cooling coming.
Keeping dogs cool is not just a matter of comfort; it is essential to their good health. Do your part to keep your best friend safe and happy this summer!