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Tips For Guardians With Dogs Who Don’t Do Well In Summer Heat

dog health summer dog health

 

Summer means fun in the sun! It means longer days and more pleasant weather - the perfect season to spend more time outdoors with our best pal! Of course, we should not forget that a dog’s body responds differently to summer heat than our bodies do. And some dog breeds do not do well when temperatures start to rise during summer. In fact, the end of summer tends to be the time when seasonal heat peaks just before everything winds down into colder temperatures for autumn. So what can we do to make sure that Fido doesn’t get overwhelmed by the summer weather? Follow these simple do’s and don’ts to keep pups safe and healthy. 

Tips For Dogs In Summer | Vet OrganicsSummer is a time for water sports and fun in the sun. It’s also a common time for ear infections for many dogs. EcoEars is an all natural remedy for painful, infected ears. It’s also the perfect ear wash for ear infection prevention. It works on fungal, bacterial, and yeast infections as well as most ear mites. Try EcoEars and you’ll see the difference for yourself or your money back. 

Tips For Dogs In Summer | Vet Organics

Summer Protection Tips for Dogs

Don’ts

  • Don’t leave Fido unattended inside the car, even to run a “quick” errand. Whether we park the car in a covered parking structure, and even if we leave the windows open. Temperatures during summer can make the inside of our car hot enough to cause heatstroke. We should know this all too well. When we get back inside the car and are hit in the face by blistering hot air, and the steering wheel and seats are too hot to touch. Our dogs will be safer at home. 
  • Do not let Fido walk on hot surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete. The rule of thumb is: if it’s too hot for our palms to touch, then it’s too hot for our dog’s sensitive paws. Yes, they have padded paws, but those are to help protect them from pebbles and uneven ground, not temperatures. Instead, we can schedule our walks early enough in the mornings and evenings that the summer pavement will still be tolerable. We can also choose a grassy park, a shaded and woodsy trail, or a boardwalk. And summer booties are an option as well. 
  • Do not leave him outside for an extended period, even at night, especially if temperatures are predicted to climb higher than 85 degrees. We also have to resist those pleading eyes and just leave him at home if we are going to the beach, on an errand, or our usual run because the high summer temperatures we can tolerate are often no longer safe for Fido.  
Tips For Dogs In Summer | Vet Organics

Dos

  • Give him easy access to water, 24/7. If we’re going out, we should not forget to bring a supply of water and his travel water bowl. Our dogs can not cool down as efficiently as we do. Frequent hydration is critical during the summer. 
  • We should limit playtime and exercise to cooler hours of the day. Regular physical activity is still important, but when the day is too hot, we should have indoor options for play and exercise. We should also schedule outdoor activities to hours when temperatures are cooler and safer for Fido. At the same time, we should keep a close eye on how he is breathing and his energy levels. If he’s panting more than usual or he has trouble keeping up, we should give him time to rest and cool down. And, of course, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
  • We should always have dog-friendly sunblock on-hand. Even if it’s cloudy, the UV rays of the sun can still do damage, so protecting our best bud’s skin and hair is a must if we are taking him outside and we know that there is going to be prolonged direct UV exposure. 
  • Fido should be able to seek some shelter from the sun when he is outside. It can be the shade of a tree, our porch, or a doggy tent, awning, or house. If we absolutely have to leave him outside, even if only for a short time, we should make sure he has plenty of water, and that his water bowl is one that he won’t be able to tip over. Having a portable doggy tent is also useful if we’ll be spending the whole day outside with the family.
Tips For Dogs In Summer | Vet Organics

Summer Must-Haves for Our Pooch

Here are some neat products to help our furry pal have a pleasant summer, whether indoors or outdoors. 

  • Cooling bandanas. These are worn wet (not soaked) around the neck and are designed to help cool down Fido’s body. 
  • Dog boots. Especially if we live in the city and concrete and asphalt pavements are the norm, dog boots are also a must. We need to make sure that they fit properly so Fido can still enjoy his walk or run without blisters. 
  • Life vest. Dogs can be natural swimmers, but it is still a good idea to get him a life vest that is vet-approved and that fits well enough that it will not hinder his movement when he’s in the water. 
  • Paw balms. This helps soothe paws after being exposed to hot surfaces outside. We should look for products that only use all-natural ingredients, including beeswax, aloe, shea butter, olive oil, and almond oil. 
  • Cooling mats. These can be used both indoors and outdoors. Some are made with a cooling gel inside. Others need to be wet to offer cool temps. 
  • A separate water bowl for Fido’s paws. One of the best ways to cool Fido, other than showering him with cool water, is to dip his paws in a bowl of cool water. Glands and blood vessels between Fido’s toes will carry that cooler temp throughout Fido’s body.  

Summertime can be a difficult time for dogs, some more than others. So let us always be prepared and make sure that our pooch can still enjoy this season and also stay safe. 

 

Further Reading:

Michelle Lievense

Michelle is a writer and ghostwriter, specializing in wellness, sustainability, and global social change. She is particularly fond of serving ethical organizations who contribute to a better life for people and animals through humane and environmentally responsible missions. At Vet Organics, Michelle uses her time as a vet tech, her academic studies in animal science and behavior, and nearly a decade working on a ranch teaching animal husbandry to write on a variety of cat and canine health topics. When she isn't writing, Michelle can be found hiking in the mountains of Colorado with her dogs or snuggled up with a good book and her cats.

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