As summer is approaching and the temperature is rising, I notice my dog wanting to spend less time outside. Can you blame him? Keeping dogs cool with all that hair and no sweat glands can be a challenge.
Unless I’m dipping into a pool or relaxing under some shade with a cool, refreshing glass of lemonade, you’ll find me inside. But dogs need exercise and that means plenty of outside time. With this in mind, it’s super important to remember to keep your dogs cool when they are working out their seemingly-endless energy supply in the scorching summer heat – especially here in Florida.
Keeping Dogs Cool
Here are a few tips to keep handy to keep your dogs cool this summer and safe from the negatives that come with the heat.
- Extra Water is A Must. If you have an active pup, dehydration can be a concern. Just fill his bowl when it’s low with more fresh water and place an extra bowl outside or in areas your dog often plays. Another great option is an automatic dog watering nozzle that screws right onto the outside faucet. You can find them for about $7 on Amazon.
- Never Leave Your Dog in The Car. This isn’t even about keeping dogs cool; this is about keeping dogs alive. Leave your four-legged friend at home. He doesn’t care that organic bananas are on sale at Whole Foods. Cars heat up fast, even if the windows are cracked. Sometimes temperatures can reach 120°F in a matter of minutes. In most states, you can even get a fine or arrested for leaving your pet in a hot car. Here in Florida, it’s actually legal to break the window of a car to rescue an animal from a hot car, so unless you want a sad animal and a broken window, I suggest you leave Fido at home.
- Avoid Taking Long Walks in Peak Hours. Let’s experiment. Tomorrow at 3 p.m., take off your shoes and socks and walk down the street. How does that 130°F asphalt feel? Chances are, your dog is a little tougher than you, but hot asphalt can really do some damage to his paws. Try to take walks earlier in the morning or late in the afternoon. If you’re walking during the day, make sure you pup has access to walking on the grass.
- Frozen Water Jugs. This is my dog’s favorite, especially if you have a kiddie pool like the one in the next tip. Fill some clean milk jugs with water and freeze them. When Fido is outside, cut the plastic off and throw it in the pool or lay it on the ground. Your dog will love taking a timeout to lick the ice.
- Provide A Tiny Dog Pool With Shade. Keeping dogs cool with water is a no-brainer. A $20 plastic kiddie pool from Wal-Mart is the best money you’ll spend all summer. This will do the trick keeping dogs cool throughout the day if they’re outside for extended periods of time. It’s better to get a couple of smaller pools than one giant one. If your dog is like mine, the crystal-clear pool starts to look like you’ve been washing puddles of mud in it after a few hours so it’s going to need to be dumped out and refilled every day. Water weighs about eight pounds per gallon, so small pools are much easier to dump.
- Sunscreen Your Dog. Believe it or not, sunburns aren’t just for people and pigs. Yes, dogs get sunburned too. If your pup has light skin and white fur, you should consider buying a pet-friendly sunscreen. Check out http://www.petmd.com for more info.
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