4 Ways to Protect Your Pup From Summer Heat

Everyone looks forward to summer. Thanks to the sunshine, it's the best time of year to get outside and play. Camping, swimming, hiking - these are all activities you can enjoy with the whole family, including your pup. Unfortunately, summer also brings excessive temperatures, bugs, and other health concerns. Thankfully, there are some ways to keep your dog safe and cool.

1. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Dogs need a lot of water to stay properly hydrated, and they need even more H2O now that it's summer. Make sure your dog always has access to a bowl of cool, clean water to keep her perfectly hydrated during even the hottest days. If you're outside, try adding a few ice cubes and putting the bowl in a shady spot to keep the water cooler for longer.

2. Exercise at Cooler Times of Day

Your dog needs frequent walks during the summer, but try to avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day. Plan activities for evening or morning hours, and cool off inside during the afternoon. On particularly hot days, it's best to stay indoors until the weather cools back down a bit. If you absolutely must walk your dog during peak temperatures, try hosing him down with water before you leave home. He will stay cooler for longer if his hair is soaked before you leave.

3. Take Your Pet to the Groomer

During the hot summer months, the groomer is your pet's best friend. Many dogs have coats that are meant to keep them warm, and it can be beneficial for the pup to have his fur trimmed a few times each year. However, this isn't true for all dogs. Some dogs stay cooler with a longer coat, so you should always check with your vet before giving your pup a trim. As a bonus, grooming is a great time to check for ticks and fleas on your pet.

4. Keep Water Nearby for Hot Paws

When you're hot in the summer, you probably go swimming to cool down. This idea works for dogs, too. If you don't have a pool at home, a small child's pool will do the trick. Keep it filled with just enough water for your pup to cool his paws during the hottest summer days. Some dogs will even climb all the way inside for a mid-afternoon soak!

A Few "Don'ts" to Keep in Mind...

Having fun and keeping your pet healthy should always be your top priorities. While the tips above will help keep your pet cool, please also remember to:

  • Never leave your dog unattended in the car. It's easy for pets to develop heat stroke or even die in warm or hot temperatures.
  • Protect your pet's paws from hot pavement. The pads can burn easily, which is quite painful.
  • Remember to keep flea and tick medicine on your pet at all times. Sentinel makes a great all-in-one treatment that works on fleas, ticks, heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
Finally, if you suspect your pet has become overheated, see your vet immediately. Heat stroke is a serious condition that can be deadly for some pets. If your dog is high-risk for heat stroke (older pets and certain breeds are more likely to overheat than others), you should know the signs of heat stroke and take extra precautions to protect your pup during these warm summer months.
Listed here are some helpful resources referenced in the article that can provide some guidance on pet grooming, medication, and other tips to beat the heat: