When you’re hot, you drink cold water, go inside where the air conditioner is blasting or let yourself sweat the heat out through your pores. However, while you can do all of these things, your dog can’t. Dogs rely on their humans to provide them with cold, fresh water and open the door to let them back inside, and they can’t release body heat like we do. In fact, as you probably already know, dogs mostly cool themselves off by panting and releasing heat through their pads.
No one wants their buddy to suffer in the heat, so make sure to keep them comfortable and safe when temperatures start to rise. Here are six tips from a pet hospital in Saint Francisville, LA to help your dog stay cool and happy this summer:
- Do stuff indoors: First of all, if it’s very hot outside, let your dog stay indoors with the air conditioner. Whether there’s a triple-digit heat wave or it’s just uncomfortably hot and humid, plan a movie day with your dog and let him or her lay down on the cool indoor floor. No AC? Turn on those room fans, and point one at that puppy!
- Watch when you take them out: Certain times of the day are much hotter than others. On average, the hottest part of the day is early and mid-afternoon, meaning the best times to be outside with your dog for play or exercise are early morning and late evening. Additionally, being outside in the heat can cause heat stroke in dogs, and the hot pavement can burn delicate paw pads. FYI: Concrete and asphalt surfaces are always way hotter than the air temperature.
- Provide bowls of water: Whether you have more than one dog or are leaving a dog outside for a long period of time, set out several bowls of fresh drinking water. Check the water level often and replace with fresh water a couple times a day. This also applies to indoor water bowls. Place bowls in easy-to-reach areas that get frequent shade.
- Provide adequate shade: A dog-friendly yard will have several areas with reliable shade. Trees, umbrellas, dog houses, a covered patio and even a portable canopy can mean the difference between an overheated dog and a pleasantly cool dog.
- Give watery or frozen treats: Many fruits and vegetables are safe for dog consumption, including watermelon, cucumber, apples, blueberries and carrots. Give these water-packed veggies as treats, or freeze pieces in water, plain yogurt or a broth to make your own chilled dog treats.
- Have play time in water: If your dog loves the water, why not get him a doggie pool? While a hard plastic kiddie pool can suffice, take a look at an actual dog pool. They are sturdy, easy to set up and drain—the perfect addition to a hot day!
Pet health is the number one priority at St. Francisville Animal Hospital. Call our pet hospital in Saint Francisville, LA any time to schedule a vet appointment.