Posted by Margaret Mobley on 7/10/2017
Tips and products to keep your dog cool and safe in the summer heat…
There are so many hot weather factors to affect us all, that we must
remember to also think about the canine family members with all that fur and panting as their only way to sweat the heat! Here are some events that can cause overheating and tips to protect your dog to keep him or her cool and safe in the hot weather.
Sure, it is nice to be in the sun to get a tan and our daily dose of Vitamin D. But, did you know that just as we can get too much sun that will damage our skin, so too can dogs be over exposed to the ravages of the sun. The thinner the fur on your dog, the easier they will get a sunburn if left outdoors without the benefit of a shady area for them to cool down. Also, just the heat from all day yard exposure in hot weather can cause them to have heat stroke, just like humans.
Please be sure when you leave your fur companion in a secure outside location while you are away, that they have quick access to a cool place to get out of the sunlight, like a large tree area, access to a cool part of your home with a doggie door and plenty of water available. The thicker your dog’s fur, the more they will suffer when they must spend hours outdoors in temperatures that exceed 75 degrees!
A heat stroke happens when too much sun and hot temperature exposure along with outdoor activities make us dehydrate much faster than we realize.
In other words, a heat stroke can sneak up on us humans, so you can imagine how a dog might not know when they have had enough outdoor exercise or playtime! Even when you take your fur baby for a walk, stay aware of the time, how much you are feeling the heat and whether you have water on hand for instant hydration! Your pup’s tolerance may seem to be endless because they are so happy to be outside and with you, but be aware they will quickly stop and drop, panting and tired, when they are getting grossly overheated.
Take water for your pooch with you on walks, trips to the park for puppy playtime and doing an outside training exercise with them. Stop and rest at frequent intervals when the two of you are engaged in activities that keep you in the sunlight. This is especially important if you take your doggie with you to the beach. They will need shade from an umbrella and plenty of fresh, cool water to lap up as they rest.
Little puppies, breeds and mixes may seem to stay cool longer because they are held by you, or riding in a dog purse carrier or kennel. But be aware that their little organs are even more fragile than those of their larger four-pawed cousins, and they may not show their over-heating as obviously as a larger dog will. NO matter what size your pointy or floppy eared buddy is, when they
reach the point of hyperthermia (overexposure to sun and heat that causes them to faint, it may be too late.
When your K9 partner starts to pant, pay attention to how much and how long they are panting, and get them into shade, cool indoors and water for a break. If they become lethargic as well as panting too much, it is time to get completely out of the sun, give them water, and return with them to their normal environment! Otherwise, you risk having them lose consciousness and that is when you must get veterinarian attention. Wrap your pup in cool, wet towels, put them in your car and take them to the emergency Veterinarian hospital!
Unfortunately, our dogs cannot verbally express their discomfort when they become over heated, so it is up to us to watch them just as carefully as we do our children, as they play, exercise and enjoy the hot summer season.
While there is no sunscreen for dogs, here are a few tools to keep fur partners protected.
Doggles Sunglasses for dogs
– Yes, you can protect their eyes from UV rays with doggie sunglasses that are ergonomically made to fit their foreheads and bulging eyes, while looking ultra cool in their shades.
Travel dog bowls
– Carry a handy portable dog bowl with bottled water to be sure your pup stays hydrated.