The hot days of summer have special meaning for your dog. Warm weather brings a host of problems for dogs, whose furry coats hold the heat.
Left outside in the sun, dogs can suffer heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Because dogs have no sweat glands distributed throughout their bodies, they are more susceptible to heat-related discomforts and must rely on panting or sweating via their footpads as a self-defense mechanism to deal with the heat and humidity.
Like you, your dog will appreciate some help battling hot or humid weather. Below are some ideas to help cool your “hot” dog:
1. Air conditioning is the best way to help your dog stay cool in the warm weather, but if you don’t have that luxury, place fans in places where your dog likes to sleep. Window fans set on exhaust will help circulate the air inside your home and keep your dog from heating up.
2. Allow your dog access to cooler rooms of the house, such as the basement, the garage, or a screened porch where there’s a breeze.
3. Place some old pillowcases in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer. Take one out on really hot days for your dog to sleep on.
4. Keep an ice pack handy. On hot days, place it under your dog’s bedding to cool your pooch off as he snoozes.
5. Keep your dog’s water dish filled with fresh, cool water. Place ice cubes in the water during the hottest periods of the day.
6. During extremely hot weather, keep heavy exercise to a minimum and play with your dog during the cooler parts of the day.
7. Older and overweight dogs are more at risk from the heat, so be more sensitive to them in warm weather.
8. To prevent heat exhaustion and possibly death never leave your dog in a closed car in the summer heat.
9. Attach a water bottle like those used in rabbit hutches to a wire kennel for your dog to drink from.
10. Attach a “licker” to an outdoor faucet or hose in your dog’s run. When he’s thirsty, he licks the device to get fresh water. The licker can be attached to a hose and extended into your dog’s run.
11. An alternative way to allow your pooch to have water when he is outside is to pound a stake in the ground in his outdoor area. Place an angel food or bun cake pan with an opening in the center over the stake to keep your dog from tipping over the pan. Fill the pan with water.
12. Buy a child’s swimming pool and fill it with water for your dog to get into.
13. Place wet towels in your dog’s outdoor run or doghouse to help him stay cool.
14. If your dog has an outdoor doghouse, cover the floor with cedar shavings to help control parasites and retain the moisture in his skin.
15. If your dog stays outside in a doghouse, make certain the house is placed in the shade. A doghouse heated by the summer sun can be almost as deadly as a closed automobile.