Every summer, pet parents worry that they are not doing enough to keep their dogs cool as the temperature climbs. After all, dogs can have difficulties regulating their temperatures and can be susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke in the summer heat. Luckily, there are a wide variety of ways to help our dogs stay cool even in high temperatures. Here, Freshpet reviews a few simple ways that pet parents can keep their dogs happy and healthy throughout the summer months.
Keep Plenty of Cold Water Available
Whether you are playing out in the backyard or taking your dog out on a hike, it is always important to keep fresh, cold water available for your dog. Before you begin a trip, be sure that you have enough water for both you and your dog, as you will certainly need it in the heat. Experts recommend giving your dog small amounts of water after 15-20 minutes of physical activity, but know that your dog may require more if they start to become dehydrated on your journey.
Be Mindful During Walks
Many pet parents are excited to take their dogs out during the summer, but we should always be careful when exercising in the heat. Walking in the early morning or when it becomes cooler in the evening, for example, is a great way to avoid overheating. Pet parents will also want to check the pavement ahead of going out for a walk. If the pavement is too hot to the touch for your hand, it is probably too hot for your dog’s paws as well. Always remember that feeding your dog a high protein dog food about 45 minutes after their walk may be preferable for keeping them from becoming sluggish out in the heat.
Take Frequent Breaks
Even dogs that are fit and accustomed to the heat may find it difficult to keep up on particularly hot, sunny days in the summer. For this reason, pet parents should take a break every so often to help prevent your dog overheating or overexerting themselves. Always look for signs that your dog needs a break such as excessive panting, laying down more than usual, moving slower than their normal pace, or whimpering/whining. Pet parents should also be sure to look for dehydration signs such as rope-like saliva and lethargy. If you realize that your dog should take a break, there are a few great ways to burn time while keeping your dog safe. For example, providing water, giving your dog a few healthy dog treats, and checking their paws and fur for anything that may be bothering them are great ways to enjoy a break with your furry friend. Break time is also excellent for taking pictures to remember your journey by.
Look for Shade
One mistake that pet parents commonly make in the summertime is forgetting that the sun can really beat down on their dog. On very hot, sunny days, consider securing a spot for your pup that has nice shade, as it will give them the opportunity to cool off during or after their exercise. Always ensure that the area you choose for shade has great ventilation as well, as the air flow will help your dog cool off even better. For example, shady trees are preferable to doghouses, which can trap the heat inside and make it worse for your furry friend. If your dog eats outside, shade is a great way to keep them from overheating as they enjoy their high protein dog food or healthy dog treats.
Give Your Dog Frozen Treats
Popsicles are a common summer treat because they help us cool down. Similar is true for our furry friends, who can use frozen treats as a quick way to cool off and regulate their body temperatures. There are many online recipes for healthy dog treats that are made with simple ingredients that are safe for dogs. Pupsicles can be made with a wide variety of fruits such as apples, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and watermelon. As with any treat, you will want to ensure that you are not giving your dog too much. A balanced diet of high protein dog food with minimal treats is important for keeping your dog at a healthy weight.