The summer season is all about beaches, picnics, trips, and relaxing under the warm sunlight. However, summer also brings along crazy high temperatures which, of course, is not a delight. While humans still have a way to complain about the heat, our pets don’t have that choice, which is why they display other ways to show their discomfort towards the summer heat. If you have a dog, for instance, you need to invest extra time and effort in making sure that they are well taken care of during this season.
Tips to Look After Your Dog During the Summer Season
Summer means more risks of injuries and increased chances of your dog experiencing a heatstroke. Skin and ear infections can also come about during this season. Here are a few tips that will help you take care of your dog better during the summer, and make sure that they stay safe and comfortable:
1. Always Keep Enough Water Around
Dogs love to play outside, which is why they require constant access to clean and fresh water. Dogs need to drink somewhere between half and one ounce of water per pound of body weight every single day. Therefore, if your dog weighs 65 pounds, you should give them 33 and 65 ounces of water per day. When the days get hotter, dogs should be given over one ounce of water per pound. Make sure that you leave the water in a shaded area rather than in a hot atmosphere, so that it stays cool. Also, keep changing and refilling the water bowls every one or two hours so that the water stays cold.
2. Provide Them with Enough Shade
Shade should be provided to dogs in plenty during the summer season. You need to make sure that there’s a shaded area your dog can go to cool off when they want to get away from the sun for a while. The shaded area must have enough space so that your dog is protected from the hot in a variety of different positions. This shaded area could be a shelter with a roof, a deck, or even a porch with a roof. While the sun keeps shifting positions throughout the day, this shaded area needs to remain concealed from the scorching heat.
3. Don’t Stay in the Sun for Over an Hour
Dogs have hair all over their body, and their body temperature is much higher than that of humans. As opposed to humans, dogs don’t sweat to cool off. Instead, they pant and begin to look for cool surfaces where they can lie down and cool off. Therefore, it’s necessary that you avoid exposing them to the sun for over an hour during the hot summer season. Even if they do play out for a long period of time, ensure that they get enough shade and water so that they don’t suffer from exhaustion and dehydration.
4. Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
Dogs love going on car rides. However, when you take your dog along with you, do not leave them inside the car during the summer season, especially since it can get over 100 degrees in some places. You might think that it’s okay to leave them in the car for a few minutes, but even 10 minutes inside a hot car can cause a heatstroke in dogs. Not only is leaving your pets in a car dangerous, but it’s also illegal in several places. So, if you ever see a dog alone in a car, it’s best to inform the required authorities or look for the owners as soon as possible.
5. Give Them a Well-Balanced Diet
Dogs end up eating less and spending more energy during the summer season in order to reduce their body temperature. While some dog owners might think that feeding them rice or curd during this time is a good idea, but they contain a lot of water and not the necessary quantity of vitamins or minerals your dog needs when the temperatures go high. Therefore, it’s very crucial that you give your dog a well-balanced diet during this time.
One should also remember that dogs need cool treats when the temperature outside is higher than usual. You can take some of their favorite treats and freeze them up by keeping them in an ice cube tray with chicken stock that’s unsalted. Some pet stores also sell dog ice cream that you could feed to your dog. It’s best to moisten their food and also feed them healthy beverages such as coconut water.
6. Identify Signs of Heatstroke and Treat Them
In case your dog suffers from a heatstroke, immediate medical attention should be provided, which is why it’s extremely important for you to know what the signs of a heatstroke. They include drooling, weakness, lethargy, rapid heartbeat, high fever, excessive panting, dark red gums, and also being unresponsive to their surroundings or commands in general.
If you notice any of these signs, the first thing you should do is cool them down and stabilize their body temperature. Get them away from the sun and in a shaded area. An air-conditioned place will work best since it has a lower temperature and proper air circulation. Place a cold and damp towel on your dog’s body and give them some mildly cold water to drink. Once they begin to cool down, you can place colder items on their necks or backs and make them drink colder water. After these initial steps, take your dog straight to the vet to check if everything is fine.
7. Protect Their Paws
Your dog’s paws are tender, and could get burnt due to concrete or hot asphalt when the day is too hot. Make sure to keep your dog away from such surfaces when the temperature is particularly high. Buy dog booties to protect their paws during the hot days. They are easily available both in stores and online. In case your dog’s paws get burnt, apply some protective wax or moisturizer. Paw wax can be found online or in stores as well.