Like us humans, dogs need a little extra TLC when the weather gets scorching hot (and also when it’s freezing cold, but that’s for another time). Taking care of dogs during the summer could mean a shift in activities, a little more skin product, and an updated diet.
In order to make sure you have all the things dogs need for some safe fun under the sun, we’ve prepared a dog care guide to summer below.
What Do Dogs Need For Summer Safety
Just like you and me, dogs need to take in more water when it’s extra hot out. In fact, they even get thirstier than humans as temperature rises.
Ensure that your pets stay hydrated and always have access to cool, clean water. Also look out for dry gums and excessive drooling, as these could be symptoms of dehydration.
Lots of shade
We know how much your furry companions love to sunbathe. However, with the heat reaching dangerous levels, it is best to keep them away from direct sunlight as this can put them at risk of heat stroke.
Heat can quickly drain energy. Ensure your dog gets enough rest with a comfortable dog bed.
For you to know the signs
Dogs don’t sweat like we do. In order to regulate their temperature, they turn to panting and drinking a lot of water. Since these two may not be obvious signs of potential dehydration, it is best to look out for the following symptoms:
- Excessively heavy panting
- Dry or bright red gums
- Drool has become thicker than usual
- Shaky and unstable walking
How to treat a dog with these indications? Simply move them to a cooler area, give them water, and place a damp towel over their body. We also recommend bringing them to the vet if symptoms seem bad.
Important note: do not expose your heat-exhausted pet in cold water as this can put their body into shock.
A layer of sunscreen
Our pets unfortunately are susceptible to sunburn as well, most especially those with short or light fur. Not only is it very painful for them but it can also lead to skin cancer.
Be sure to apply pet-friendly sunscreen on your dogs every 4 hours on the areas with least fur such as their bellies, ears, and nose.
Cool walking hours
Make sure to take them on walks or perform their exercises when it’s not too hot out. The best times are usually early in the morning or in the evening.
Cool walking grounds
Apart from the time of day, keep in mind what kind of surfaces you are walking your dog on, too. Pets regulate temperature from the ground up, so walking in hot areas can dramatically increase their body heat. Keep them off hot surfaces to minimize risk of burning their paws and overheating.
Updated vaccines and vitamins
Parasites are rampant when it’s hot out and can carry diseases and worms to your pets. Make sure their vaccines are updated and have all the necessary vitamins.
For some of us, shaving our heads or cutting our hair may seem like a great idea for the summer. While it may work on us, it has the opposite effect on our dogs.
Their coat is naturally designed to keep them cool during hot days and warm during the cold. For this very reason, never shave your dog’s fur over the summer but keep them properly groomed with at least an inch of hair.
A cool bath
5 Things Dogs Need When Outside This Summer
- A bottle of water (their travel bowl).
- An umbrella or doggy hat to shield them from direct sunlight.
- A small towel in case you will need to cover them.
- A tube of dog-friendly sunscreen.
- Good dog shoes to keep their paws safe from hot surfaces.
Other Tips For Taking Care Of Dogs During Summer
Switch to wet dog food. One way to keep their hydration levels up is by switching them to wet dog food. Be sure to do this gradually by mixing it with their current diet until they grow accustomed to the new dish.
Never leave them inside the car. Dogs easily develop heat stroke when stuck inside a hot car. If you must run a quick errand, make sure to park in a shaded area, keep the air-conditioning unit on, crack a window, and keep track of time!
There you have it!
If you’ve ever wondered “What does a dog need over the summer?”, we hope this article helps. Now you can easily have safe sunny days from here on out!