Dog Care for Summer

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What is a safe temperature for a dog to be outside in the summer?

As a general rule of thumb, if it is too hot or cold for us to be comfortable, it’s too severe for your dog. Hot temperatures, combined with humidity, can cause dehydration and heatstroke.

The risk starts at 23ºC and 29ºC can be dangerous. After that, 32ºC and above is considered potentially life-threatening.

Prevent Dehydration

This is the most important thing that you can do for your furry friend. This means:

  1. Encourage your dog to stay in the shade, keeping him away from direct sunlight especially at noon.
  2. Keep your dog hydrated, fill his bowl with cold water and always take water for her if you go for a walk or trip. Travel dog water bottles come in very handy.
  3. Stay cool, put damp towels for her to lie on.
  4. If your dog likes water, let her play around with the garden sprinkler or go for a swim (beware, not all dogs are natural swimmers). you can get a little pool like mine for your pooch to refresh herself.

Also, keep an eye for possible dehydration signs:

  1. Sunken eyes.
  2. Lethargy.
  3. Dry mouth.
  4. Depression.

Protect Your Dog’s Paws From Hot Surfaces

Hot surfaces can hurt your dog, particularly sand or tarmac

How can you know if it’s too hot for your dog?

A simple rule is that if these surfaces feel too hot for you, they probably are too hot for your dog too. Place your palm or naked foot on the surface and test it!

Keep an Eye for Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heatstroke happens when dogs can’t reduce their body temperature.

Note: Old and overweight dogs or those with heart and breathing problems are more likely to get heatstroke.

Heatstroke’s can be fatal, so look for the following signs:

  1. Heavy panting.
  2. Glazed eyes.
  3. A rapid pulse.
  4. Excess salivation and thickened saliva.
  5. Raised temperature (101.5° is normal).
  6. Fatigue.
  7. Muscle tremors.
  8. Lack of coordination or staggering.
  9. Vomiting or diarrhea.
  10. Loss of consciousness.

If you think your dog is having a heatstroke, you need to act fast:

  • Take her to a cool, shaded area.
  • Get towels soaked in cold water and apply them to her head, neck and chest.
  • Encourage her to drink water or lick an ice cube.

Plan Your Walks

Early morning and evening walks are the best for both of you to stay cool and avoid getting too hot.

Note: Brachycephalic breeds like Boston Terriers and Pugs are more likely to have breathing difficulty since their smaller airways make it harder for them to release heat when they pant.

Remember that you can also keep your dog busy indoors when it’s too hot outside.

Clip Your Dog’s Coat

Regular grooming and hair clipping will keep your dog’s coat clean and free of knots.

This is important because matted fur can interfere with their ability to regulate their body temperature and in this case, trap heat.

Reward Your Dog with Frozen Treats

Help your dog cool down from the inside out. You can give your dog:

  1. Ice cubes with tasty treats inside.
  2. Frozen blueberries.
  3. Bone broth cubes.
  4. Also, you can fill and freeze a chew toy like Kong’s to make a chilly meal.

Protect Your Dog From Sunburn

dogs are at risk of burning in the sun if they’re not protected, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin.

If you’re unsure whether your dog needs sunscreen, ask your vet and then get sun protection that has been designed specifically for dogs.

Note: that ingesting certain sunscreens can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst and lethargy in pets. So, it’s best to read the label carefully and consult your vet when in doubt.

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