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Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

Whether you like it or not, the heat is here to stay for a while in the Phoenix area. You might have learned how to deal with the heat yourself but are you taking extra precautions to keep your dog cool as well? While dogs may appear to deal with extreme weather better than humans, they still need some extra attention to keep them safe this summer. Keep in mind that dogs are not able to sweat so instead they will pant to try to cool themselves off. Help keep your dog cool and healthy this summer with these easy tips:

  1. Set up a kiddie pool in the yard for the dogs to lay in when necessary. Even if you have a full-sized pool, the kiddie pool is safer for your pooch and you don’t have to worry about the pet hair clogging up your filters.
  2. Keep your dog inside during the sunniest time of the day, between 10am – 3pm. If they need to go out during this time, try to keep their outing quick.
  3. Take your dog for a walk early in the morning instead of during the day or let your dog outside for longer in the morning so they can wear off some en energy before it gets too hot.
  4. Avoid blacktop during the day. Blacktop will heat up (and even some concrete) and can burn the pads on their paws. The pads can burn and blister making it extremely painful to walk on. General rule of thumb is that if the ground is too hot for you to walk on barefoot, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on. If you live in an apartment or somewhere where you can’t avoid blacktop, buy a special balm for their pads that blocks the heat or purchase booties for your dog to wear. It may take time for your dog to get used to the booties so try them out inside first. You might even get a very funny dance from your dog when they first try to walk with them!
  5. Freeze wet towels or washcloths and place them on your dog when they are heavily panting to help cool them down faster.
  6. Bathe and brush your dog often to help eliminate any extra fur that is hanging around.
  7. Keep water available at all times for your dog to drink when needed. They will need to drink more water in the summer than you might be used to.
  8. Place ice cubes in the water bowl if you are going to be gone for a while. The ice cubes will help keep the water cool and also provide additional water to drink as they melt. You can even freeze a large block of ice for them to lick and/or drink when melted.
  9. If you keep your dog in a crate, remove any padding and allow your dog to sleep on the tray or crate bottom (if it’s a solid surface). The padding might be soft but on the hot days it can trap extra heat. If your dog needs the soft padding you can purchase dog beds that have a cooling gel in them.
  10. Don’t forget your dog when slathering on the sunscreen! Dogs can get sunburned just like you can and as we all know, when you are sunburnt you are hotter! Even if your dog has long hair, put some sunscreen on their nose, tips of ears, belly, groin and other areas where hair is thin. Sunscreen meant for babies often has less chemicals and high SPF, or you can buy sunscreen meant for dogs.
  11. NEVER leave your dog in the car, even for a minute or two, in the warm weather. Even if the weather feels cool to you, your car will heat up significantly more than you probably realize and can be dangerous to your dog.

 

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