When warm weather hits, outdoor adventures beckon. You dress light, pack sunscreen and carry icy water for yourself, but remember that your dog heats up quickly in hot temps too. Follow these four tips on how to keep your dog cool this summer.
While you might be tempted to give your shaggy pal a serious haircut, cutting away his protective double coat makes him more uncomfortable and overexposes delicate skin to harmful UV rays. Instead, brush him with an undercoat rake and groom out matted hair. While the coat doesn't need extra protection, hairless areas do, such as his snout and the area between his hind legs. Use a canine sunscreen, sunscreen for babies or sensitive skin, but avoid brands containing potentially toxic zinc oxide.
On The Walk
Schedule walks or playtime only during the early morning or evening hours before the sun warms things up too much. Once outside, seek shady areas and avoid scalding pavement, which can burn paws.
Not sure if it's too warm for your pooch? The LINK AKC Smart Collar app sends an alert to your phone when the temperature goes above what you're comfortable with.
Always bring water and thirst-quenching treats, such as frozen "pupsicles." While a shallow wading pool is a welcome solution to cool your dog down, letting him spread out on a wet towel also works wonders, as does a cooling harness that can go straight from the fridge onto your pup.
Caring for Short-nose Dogs
If you've got a short-nosed breed, you need to take special precautions. Since Bulldogs, Pugs and many other breeds have small tracheas, they can't cool themselves down through panting like most, so it's best to avoid summer exercise and never leave these delicate types out in the heat.
Remember, if you're hot, so is your dog. Share the ways you and your dog enjoy summer fun with us!
Cool Dogs Checklist:
1. Keep up with grooming
2. Use canine sunscreen on hairless areas
3. Walk or play outside during early morning and evening hours
4. Find shade
5. Avoid hot pavement
6. Carry water and frozen treats
7. Offer a wading pool, wet towel or cooling harness