How to Keep Dogs Safe (and Cool) in Summer Weather
Sun's out, pup's out! As summer settles in, you're likely spending more time outside. Whether it's in a backyard, at a park or on a patio, you want to keep your canine companion as cozy and content as can be. Learning how to keep a dog cool in summer will ensure that they're enjoying the warmer weather just as much as you — safely! Let's take a look at some health tips, fun things to do with your dog in the summer and celebration ideas.
Keeping Your Pet Healthy in Warm Weather
Let's cut to the chase and address the number one concern pet parents have in the summer: their pet getting too hot. It's hard to know when your pet is getting overheated since they can't tell you with words, but they can show some classic signs including open-mouth breathing or excessive panting. Learn about more warning signs, risk factors and what to do if you think your pet has been outside in the heat for too long.
When we get too hot, we sweat. But, did you know that dogs don't perspire like us? Instead, they cool off through a process called vasodilation, or a natural bodily process that cools their blood. But, dogs do have sweat glands in their paws! Despite this natural method of temperature regulation, there are a couple of steps you can take to prevent adverse effects from the sun. A day at the beach, or hanging by the pool means a lot of reflective water views. As you reach for your sunglasses, consider your dog's eye health. Should they be wearing some sort of eye protection too? If your dog is older and has cataracts or any sort of vision issues, it's worth chatting with your veterinarian about a stylish pair of doggie sunglasses.
Is your summer filled with weekend family getaways, dog included? If so, they will need an overnight bag, too! In addition to food and medicines, don't forget to bring along a few favorite toys and a copy of their latest vaccine records. Here are some healthy travel tips for adventuresome summer families.
Did you know that some dog breeds endure warmer climates and summer weather more successfully than others? Why? Smooth or short-coat dogs can better tolerate the heat than double-coated fluffy pets. If you're preparing to adopt a new pup, or move to a warmer region, this list of dogs is a must-read.
Things to Do With Your Dog in the Summer
There's a breeze in the air, the sun is shining and you and your pet can't wait to get outside with the kids for some playtime. Bonding as a family over games and activities is the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon. From teaching your dog a new trick to playing in the yard sprinkler, there are a ton of ideas for everyone to bond.
As you explore how to keep a dog cool in summer, consider offering something icy and refreshing to snack on. Your dog loves chilled treats just as much as you do. Spoil your pet with some goodies beyond their usual meals with a recipe for homemade pumpkin pupsicles, just make sure that treats don't account for more than ten percent of their daily caloric intake.
If you're headed to the lake or your backyard pool, maybe this weekend is the time to teach your pup to swim. Some dogs are natural swimmers; they'll pick up on these exercises quickly and become your best buddy in the water. Learn how to get started with these tips to keep you and your pup safe.
When the weather is just too hot to be outdoors, limit your pet's exposure to potty breaks. Then, make their indoor time extra fun. Can you play fetch with a ball down a long hallway or set up a scavenger hunt featuring their favorite bite-size treat? Here are five more ideas for indoor activities that will get your pet moving.
Making the Best of Summer Parties
From holidays to backyard celebrations, summer is when friends and family gather. If your next outing includes fireworks, be mindful that your dog may not love the booms, blasts and pops as much as you do. Ease your pet's anxiety during a fireworks display with these tips.
If you're planning an all-day outdoor event, complete with a cooler full of human food and drinks, think about your pet's needs too. Keep your dog safe outside with this list of items to pack for your canine companion, including portable shade under an umbrella. Learning how to keep a dog cool in summer includes more than having water available and spoiling them with an occasional icy treat!
Another idea is to plan party activities that both humans and pets can engage in together. One simple option that's easy to set up at home or a friend's yard is an agility course. Put together homemade obstacles and let kids and adults maneuver the challenges with your dog. Everyone is sure to get in a good workout and have a laugh during the party.
Will your guests be bringing canine companions over to your home? Convert your backyard into a dog park to ensure everyone has a stellar visit. The secret is to offer a lot of pampering amenities, such as multiple water bowl stations, activities, a clean-up station with poop bags and hand sanitizer (for the pet parents) and of course a bowl of doggie treats. Learn about more things to do with your dog in the summer here.
As you plan for an amazing summer, be sure you and your canine companion pause for ample rest and water breaks. It's easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of the season, but safety should always come first. If you have any concerns about your dog's health, give your vet a call for guidance and tips for how to keep a dog cool in summer. Exhaustion and overheating can sneak up on pets just as quickly as people. Balance activities with rest in the shade, and you're sure to have a safe, exciting summer together.
Angela Tague is a pet mom and writer living in the Midwest. When she's not making a mess in the kitchen, exploring nature trails with her dog Leo, or attending a yoga workshop, she's writing full-time for multiple lifestyle and technology brands. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn @AngelaTague.