As the family and I were at the lake this weekend enjoying the outdoors, each other, and our four dogs I started thinking about how the hot weather affected our furry four-legged friend … Well, you know what that normally means another article 🙂
This one is pretty important to me and to all those dogs there so please spread this info to your contact lists and social media contacts!!!
Ok, so it’s Memorial Day, the historical beginning of summer, and I want to take a minute to talk to you about hot weather precautions for you and your pooch. I started thinking about this post yesterday when I had Leo at the groomer for her summer groom. This, in itself, is an important thing to cover… Leo is a Leonberger (great big hairy dirt-colored bear of a dog) and my first thought was to completely shave her, she would have to be cooler with less hair right? Well not necessarily, in many cases dogs with long hair actually use that hair as insulation from not only the cold of winter but also the heat of summer. So by just willy-nilly shaving a dog, you might just be making it harder for your pooch to deal with the heat of summer. In Leo’s case, we shaved her belly area, did a Furminator service (to get rid of the loose blowing coat), and simply used trimmers to thin her coat a tiny bit. My groomer was adamant we not shave her and as a (reasonably J) intelligent guy I listened to the expert (the groomer) and allowed her to make the call.
So besides summertime grooming, what are other ways to help our dogs deal with the heat of the summer?
1. Access to freshwater 100% of the time. Don’t just fill the water bowl twice a day make sure it is fresh and full all day. If the dog is outside much of the time, this is even more important.
2. Access to plenty of shade, especially if your dog spends much time outside in the yard during the heat of the day.
3. Access to a little kids wading pool. This is a great way for dogs to keep cool. In fact, I used to have a Malamute (London, rest his huge soul) that would spend hours just laying in his pool while the family was outdoors.
4. Cooling jackets, are doggy jackets that are filled with a material that holds water. You simply dunk them in water and put them on your dog. The coolness of the water helps keep your dog from overheating. Be sure to periodically check the jacket to see if it needs another dunking.
5. Going on walks in the morning or the evening! Walking in the heat of the day is not good for you or your dog so try to plan your walks for times of the day when it is not super hot! Just like you need to hydrate during hot weather so does your dog! So remember to take enough for both of you!
6. Do not walk your dog on asphalt or concrete during hot periods. Come on people, we have all made the mistake of trying to walk shoeless across the deck of the pool right? Jokes aside, you can cause serious burns to the pads of your dog’s feet by forgetting this important tip.
7. Never leave a dog inside a car without running the A/C!! The inside temp of a car can go from mid-70s to temps above 110 in just minutes. I don’t care how quick your trip is, just don’t risk it!
8. Talk to your vet about your dog’s hot weather abilities. For example “smoosh nosed” dogs do not breathe as well as long-snouted dogs and are more susceptible to heatstroke! Once again listen and ask the experts (The Vet)!!!
I leave you with one final thought about dogs and dog ownership… Dogs are social animals and do not belong in backyards all of the time. They are pets, not shrubbery! If you leave your dogs outside all of the time and never allow them inside, I warn you now… without proper care during hot weather it becomes animal cruelty, not animal ownership Take care of them this summer and if all of this sounds like too much work… might I suggest a goldfish? They make great low maintenance pets