Boy oh boy, it sure is getting nice outside. Winter is gone and Spring is in full swing. Judging by what we have seen already, we may be in for a long, hot summer. As we are all getting used to the heat again it’s imperative that we remember that our dogs are too! This means the winter coats are falling out and many dogs are walking hair dispensaries, my German Shepherd Jiri sure is! This also means that everyone must take extra precautions to make sure their furry friends stay as cool as possible to beat the heat. There are three easy steps to keeping your dog cool, remember to always have fresh cool water available for them, provide cool retreats, and know your dog.
Fresh clean water is vital to helping prevent heat exhaustion. Everyone knows that dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves, they do so by panting. Fresh water keeps their mouths and nose moist to help the cooling process. Don’t be afraid to take Fido for a walk or hike, just make sure you have water available for them. I love to hike with Jiri and it is safe to say he enjoys it more than I do. A simple solution I have found is an awesome product from Drinkwell called the Hydro-Go. It’s basically a canteen for dogs and any time Jiri needs some water and there isn’t a nice stream or lake around, he uses the Hydro-Go.
Providing fresh water is only the first step to protecting our four legged children, we must also provide a cool retreat for them as well. If they are going to be outside, make sure they have plenty of shaded areas where they can escape from the sunlight. There are some things you can do to enrich these areas and create a little oasis for your pets. One cool idea is to have a small kiddy pool that they can splash or lay in. Here atPetSafeVillageour daycampers have pool parties frequently, and Jiri has his own pool in our back yard. Another great idea is to get a Kool Dogz toy from Premier Pet Products. This product works by putting treats and toys into a mold and freezing them in water. Your dog will have a big ice-lick to keep them cool and they get treats and toys as a bonus. Creating an oasis helps a great deal but you must also consider your dog’s characteristics to prevent heat exhaustion.
Dogs come in a variety of characteristics. Make sure you know how your dog’s attributes affect their ability to regulate body temperature. Dogs with short snouts cannot cool themselves very efficiently and extra precaution should be taken with them. Dark colored fur absorbs heat from the sun, and long-haired dogs have a lot more insulation to keep the heat in. Be mindful of how your pet’s physical traits affect their body temps and set them up for success..
As the weather gets hotter and hotter it is our responsibility to prevent our pets from suffering from heat exhaustion or worse. The warmer months are fun for everyone, including Fido. Keep your pets safe and happy by giving them fresh water, providing cool retreats, and taking special precautions for their physical characteristics. Go out and enjoy the great weather with you best friend, keep them cool, and they will surely thank you for it!