Helping Your Dog Deal With Heat

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Helping Your Dog Deal With Heat

Looking forward to summer? It’s right around the corner, and approaching, FAST! Preparing your dog for summer can be a difficult task, especially if you have a dog that is simply built for the cold the way some Malamutes and Huskies are. 

Here are some tips to make sure your furry friend is ready for the season! 

 

Shelter And Shade

Dogs, like people, can become sunburnt. While most dogs have some built-in protectio thanks to their natural coat of fur, certain breeds with a short, thin coat are particularly susceptible to burning.

 

If you are out for prolonged periods, apply a doggy-safe sunscreen, especially if your dog is a water-lovin’ pooch that spends a lot of time in the water. 

 

Always make sure your dog has access to shade that he can retreat to when the sun gets too overpowering. 

 

Water

 

Dogs need plenty of fresh water to stay healthy. Without enough water, they can become dehydrated, which can lead to a variety of health problems. 

 

Dogs who live in hot climates or who exercise vigorously need even more water than usual. Keep a fresh bowl of water indoors and provide plenty of opportunities for your dog to drink outdoors. 

If your dog doesn’t seem to be drinking enough water, you may need to increase the amount you’re providing or add some sort of moisture-rich food to his diet.

 

Exercise

Summertime means hot weather, and that can be a problem for dogs. Exercise is important for dogs, but it’s important to adjust their routine for the hotter weather. 

 

You can avoid walking your dogs during the hottest parts of the day, and instead, go for walks early in the morning or evening. There are also many fun ways to exercise your dog outdoors without having to go for a walk. Playing fetch in the backyard, taking a trip to the park, or going on a swim are all great options that keep both dog and owner cool and entertained.

Enjoy The Water 

Exercise doesn’t have to be limited to walking, running or biking. You can also spend loads of time in a lake or the beach, or install a doggy pool in your yard for your dog (and you!) to cool off. 

 

Not only will your dog love getting wet and playing in the water, but swimming is also an excellent cardiovascular exercise and great for muscle tone.

 

Wash The Doggy Bowls More

Rising temperatures mean a more conducive environment for bacteria and other microscopic creepy crawlies. You’ll need to wash the water bowls more because they can easily become contaminated with bacteria. 

 

Flea and Tick Prevention

Summer is when not only the mozzies come out, but the fleas and ticks do too. Be sure to keep your pooch updated on preventative medication and protect him from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs. 

 

Bug bites can lead to itching and irritation, and in some cases, infections that take longer to heal in the heat than in the cold.

 

Hold The Salt 

Restrict any salty food, yes, that means no human food! Salty food can cause your dogs to become even more dehydrated which can be dangerous in the sun. 

Groom More Frequently

Just like we sweat more in the heat, your dog would benefit from a more frequent bath. In addition to making sure your dog stays clean in the heat, you might also need to brush more.

 

Brushing gets rid of dead hair and dander, and dogs shed in summer. A LOT! Double-coated dogs will “blow” their undercoats off in summer to reduce their insulation, and keep the top-coat on to repel dust and dirt.

 

Do NOT shave your dog. Dogs have their topcoat for a reason, and one of the key responsibilities of the top coat is to direct the breeze onto the skin once they have shed their undercoats. By shaving your dog, you are removing his natural insulation as well as leaving him vulnerable to bug bites and sunburn. 

 

Watch For Dehydration And Heat-Illnesses

If your dog is the kind of breed that is susceptible to overheating, watch them carefully for signs of discomfort, especially when you are outdoors hiking or playing.

 

Northern breeds like the Husky and Malamutes should be kept as cool and comfortable as possible. They were bred for sub-zero temperatures, and summer is not a fun time for them! 

 

In addition, brachycephalic breeds which are dogs with flat faces and short snouts like Boxers, Pugs, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, struggle more to breathe, especially in the heat. 

Related Article: How To Deal With A Hyperactive Dog

Final Thoughts 

Summer’s a fun time and filled with loads of activities! With these tips, you can safely have fun with your dog in the heat. Enjoy the summer! 

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