Today we have a guest post from Sara Stringer about an important topic as we all face the heat with our dogs!
Staying cool and healthy during the summer is a challenge for all of us, human and canine alike. You already know how to keep yourself from succumbing to the heat. Do you know how to keep your dog safe and healthy too?
Cars are Bad
By now, obviously, you know that you should never, ever leave your dog in the car when it is hot outside. Even if you crack the windows, the temperature inside of a car on a warm and sunny day is way higher than the temperature outside of the car. If you aren’t sure whether or not your dog will be welcomed in to the place you are going, it is better to leave him at home where he can find a shady spot to stay cool.
For trips in the car, make sure that your vehicle is in good working condition. Driving around in a hot car is just as bad for you and your dog as it is to spend time in a hot car that isn’t moving.
During the summer, your instinct is going to be to get out of the house. That’s normal! Be careful, though: you don’t want to subject your dog’s paws to a heated sidewalk! Prolonged walking on hot concrete or asphalt is incredibly harmful to the pads on your dog’s feet. Walk him on grass as much as you possibly can.
If you live in an urban area, take your dog to the dog park! You can stand in the shade while your dog gets some much needed social time.
Sunscreen is Important
You lather it on yourself before you leave the house. Your dog needs protection too! Remember, not every inch of him is covered in fur—his belly is basically bald! You can buy sunscreen that is made specifically for dogs, but, if you’re on a limited budget, any zinc-free, PABA-free sunscreen will do the trick. (Zinc is toxic to dogs.) Make sure that you cover his ears and his nose. Slather up the belly if he likes to lie on his back. If your dog is a short-haired breed, go over his whole body.
You carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated, right? Your pooch needs one too. Ready access to cool water is one of the best ways to stave off heatstroke. When you’re at home, change the water bowl often so that the water in it stays clean and cool. You might even put a couple of ice cubes in there to keep the water cold for a longer period of time.
Note: DO NOT let your dog chew ice. It can break his teeth.
These air-conditioned spaces are a godsend during the summer when you have to spend days at work and don’t want to leave your dog in an un-air-conditioned home. It’s true: the “tuition” at doggie daycare can be expensive, especially if you use it for a prolonged period of time. But, really—isn’t that what plastic is for? Compare credit cards so that you don’t wind up paying an astronomical interest rates and then have to pay the summer off over the course of the year. Isn’t the expense worth it if it gives you peace of mind, knowing that your dog is being well taken care of out of the heat?
What are some of the things you’ve done to help hour puppy beat the heat of the summer sun?