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16 Ways to Help Your Dog Beat the Heat
On a steamy summer day, you can reach for a popsicle, rub ice cubes on your neck, crank up the air conditioning… or here in Roseville, where summer temps regularly climb above 100 degrees, you can do all three at once. But your best furry friend doesn’t have thumbs, so it’s up to you to keep him or her cool. At American Energy Air Conditioning, we love our dogs and want to share with you our best advice to keep Fido cool.
1. Keep Him Out of the Car
On a 95-degree day — common here in California — the temperature inside a closed car can climb to 114 degrees in just 10 minutes. That’s not just uncomfortable for your pet, but deadly. If you’re going to make stops at businesses that don’t allow dogs, leave your pup at home.
2. Cool the House
It might cost a little more to keep your air conditioning on all day while you’re gone, but it’s worth it to know that your pet is safe and comfortable. If cranking the AC isn’t possible, try to make one room of your home a cold zone for your pet. Close the curtains and set out a cooling mat where Barkley can recline.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Dogs can get dehydrated in hot weather, just like people. Fill your dog’s water bowl with cool water a few times a day. Keep a travel water bowl and jug of water in your trunk to give your dog drinks when you’re away from home.
4. Skip the Field Trips
We get it; taking your dog along for the ride makes everything more fun. But on steamy days, your pup is better off in your air-conditioned home with constant access to water than he is at the beach, at the park or in a friend’s backyard. Wait for cool, overcast days to take him for adventures.
5. Adjust the Walk Schedule
Some breeds need more exercise than others, but long midday hikes in the blazing sun aren’t good for most pups. Try to give your dog the longest walks of the day in the early morning and early evenings, when the weather is coolest. Give him shorter walks during the hot midday.
6. Buy a Cooling Vest
You adjust your clothing to suit the weather, so why not adjust your dog’s threads too? Specifically, buying a cooling vest with built-in ice packs is a great way to keep your dog comfortable whenever you do have to take him out on a sunny day, or to help him cool down when he gets home from a walk.
7. Give Him Shelter
If your pup is lucky enough to have a fenced-in yard or some other secure outdoor area, set up a few shaded areas where he can get out of the sun. A beach umbrella, pop-up tent or awning all provide shade.
8. Watch Where You Walk
Ever tried walking barefoot on hot asphalt? Ouch. Although your dog’s paws are tough, they can burn on hot surfaces. Walk your pup on the grass or along shaded pathways when possible.
9. Whip Up Pupsicles
Keep your dog cool, hydrated and happy with frozen treats. Buy icy treats designed for dogs, or make your own by freezing treats inside ice cubes or whipping up frozen peanut butter cubes.
10. Keep an Eye on Humidity
When you’re deciding whether or not to take your dog outside to play, don’t just look at the temperature. High humidity makes it hard for dogs to cool themselves down, and that’s dangerous.
11. Consider the Risk Factors
Some dogs are at greater risk of developing heat stroke than others. Dogs that are very young or old, have long or thick fur, have history of heart or lung problems or have short, snubbed noses (think bulldogs) are at increased risk, so take extra precautions if your pup falls into one of those categories.
12. Check in for a Checkup
Even if you’re careful about keeping your furry friend out of the heat, it’s smart to check in with your vet during summer. Make sure your dog’s heart and lungs are working properly and talk about how to best protect your dog from ticks and other summertime pests.
13. Boot Up
We grant you, many dogs aren’t going to be thrilled about being made to wear dog booties. But if you live in an area with limited shade and grass, and if your schedule makes afternoons the only time when you’re able to give your dog long walks, fitting you pup with these paw protectors can make it safer to walk on hot pavement.
14. Accept Your Pup’s Instincts
It’s natural for dogs to want to dig in dirt or splash in water on hot days. Their instincts drive them to take these cooling measures. If your dog has a favorite digging spot in the yard, create some shade there to let him do so comfortably.
15. Wield Clippers with Care
Your dog’s haircut may do more harm than good. Dogs need some fur to protect them from sunburn and to stay warm at night. Have a professional groomer handle his cut, and make sure your dog retains at least one inch of hair.
16. Doggie Paddle
Jumping into a pool or lake is one way to quickly cool down your pup (and yourself). If you don’t have a dog-friendly body of water nearby, fill a kiddie pool with water and dog toys, or fill your tub with cool water and let your dog splash around when he comes inside on a hot day.
Infographic by Julie @ Get on the Map Artwork by Kavalendava