Now that the weather is changing and the temperatures are going up, you need to start paying close attention to your canine family members. You may not know this, but the summer can be particularly risky for your dogs. Dehydration and heat-related illnesses can wreak havoc on dogs. That's why it's so important that you do everything you can to keep your dog cool and comfortable this summer. Here are four important steps you can take to protect your dog from the heat this year.
1. Create a Cooling Station
Even if you have plenty of shade in the yard, the heat can still get to be too much for your dog when they're outside. To offset the temperatures in the backyard, be sure to create at least one cooling station for your dog. One way to do that is to set up a misting system on your back porch. The cool mist will help keep your dog cool when the temperatures rise. It's also important that you set up a drip system so that your dog has access to plenty of fresh water, even when you aren't home to refill the bowl.
2. Add Some Accessories
Summer is a great time to accessorize your dog, especially when it comes to accessories that can help keep them cool. If your dog is going to be outside a lot this summer, invest in a cooling bandana. These bandanas can be stored in the freezer and then placed around your dog's neck before they head outside. The coolness of the fabric will help lower your dog's temperature so that they don't get too hot. It's also important that you invest in footies for your dog, especially if you're going to be going for walks in the heat. The surface temperatures on the concrete and asphalt can burn the delicate skin on your dog's paws.
3. Limit the Outdoor Time
You probably know to limit the amount of time you spend outside on particularly hot days during the summer. However, you might not know that the same warnings apply to your dog. When the temperatures start getting into the triple digits this summer, start limiting the amount of time that your dog spends outside. When your dog is outside, make sure you provide plenty of water. Dehydration can occur quickly, especially during those hot summer days.
4. Take Care with the Car Rides
When it comes to your dog, you should never leave them alone in the car during the summer. The temperatures can rise quite quickly in a locked car. Just a few minutes alone during the summer could spell disaster for your dog. If you are going to let your dog travel with you this summer, make sure you get them out of the car with you at every stop. It's also important that you carry a supply of water in the car for your dog.
If you see any signs of dehydration or scorched paws on your pup, take them to a 24-hour animal hospital immediately.