How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer Heat

Summer is such a fun time of year. The weather is beautiful and we can finally get outside to play. But with the fun comes heat – and sometimes, that can mean danger for our four-legged family members. Dog’s can’t sweat or cool themselves like we can and the summer heat can spell trouble really quick for our pups. That’s why we’ve compiled a list with a few tips on how to keep your dog cool this summer.

Plan Your Outings:
Try to plan your walks and park time for the coolest parts of the day. Usually, mornings and evenings are some of the best times to go outside with your pooch. Being outside during the summer months in the heat of the day is often just too much for dogs to handle. Adjusting your schedule a little to accommodate for the weather will make all the difference in the world for your little guy.

Find Shade:
Sometimes going outside during the heat is unavoidable, so do what you can to make the best of it. Try to find shade wherever you are. If you’re on a walk or a hike, keep an eye out for good shade spots and take frequent breaks. If you’re going someplace where there isn’t going to be a lot of shade, consider bringing along a travel canopy. There are many available that are very compact and can fold down to a portable size.

Don’t Forget the Water:
Always bring plenty of water. One of the best ways to keep your dog safe and cool during the hot weather is to always carry water with you. Bring a collapsible bowl and a jug of water and it’ll make all the difference for your pup. Try adding some ice cubes for added coolness!

 

Watch Out for Hot Pavement
Since we are always wearing shoes, sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that the pavement gets very hot and that can really burn a dog’s feet. One of the easiest ways to avoid injuries is to invest in a set of booties for your doggy. It may take a little time for him to get the hang of wearing them, but he’ll get used to it in no time and they’ll really protect his footsies! If your dog is not wearing booties while you’re out and about, be sure to be continuously checking the pavement with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot. If it is, make sure you find some shade ASAP.

Make Some Cool Treats
There are tons of quick and easy recipes online for making easy and yummy cold treats for your doggy this summer. One example is to blend together water, peanut butter, and bananas and freeze in an ice cream tray. Your pup will go bonkers for these sweet and healthy snacks, not to mention they’ll help him cool down.

Get the Hose Out!
One of the easiest – and most fun – ways to keep your pooch cool is to break out of the garden hose and let your dog go to town. Not all dogs are into this activity, but if yours is a fan of playing in the water, set it up! Turn the hose on and let your pup run through the spray! He’ll have the time of his life while he’s getting cooled down. Set up a baby pool for even more fun!

 

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Enjoy a Safe Summer with Your Pets

fireworks

Celebrating with fireworks can be stressful for our pets

The glorious warm weather is time to get outdoors and have fun with your pets. However, outdoor activities can be detrimental to your pets’ health and welfare if you’re not aware of these common summertime hazards.

Exercise in the Heat of the Day

While it’s fun to get out and walk, run or bike with your dog, be sure to do so when the temperatures are moderate. If your small dog has to run while you walk and it’s hot, your dog can overheat. Also, your dog is walking ‘barefoot’ and is closer to the pavement which can make it much hotter for your dog than for you.

Brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds can have a hard time getting air, and breathing can be harder in hot humid weather. If you have a pug or bulldog type dog, be sure to get out in the early morning or late evening to avoid heatstroke or breathing problems.

Dog parks can be fun for you and your dog, but be aware that with all the stimulation of canine friends, your pup may overdo the running and playing in the hot summer sun. Watch your dog carefully and bring her into the shade to drink and cool off before she gets too hot and risks heatstroke. Dogs who love to retrieve or play Frisbee will keep running – risking heatstroke – so be sure to moderate their activity.

You may be tempted to run errands on your way home with your pet, but don’t leave your dog in the car when it’s hot. The heat in a car – even with the windows cracked can reach lethal temperatures in a very short time. If your dog is already hot from playing, heatstroke can occur quickly. Take your best friend home to rest before stopping at the store.

Boating and Water Sports

Some dogs love the water and will gladly go boating with you. Sporting breeds can be strong swimmers, but just like with you, the water poses hazards. When you take your dog on your boat, be sure to provide a life jacket or PFD appropriate for your dog’s size.

Take time to train your dog to stay in the boat, so he doesn’t jump off after wildlife. Depending on your location, your dog may be tempted to chase poisonous snakes or predatory wildlife – which could be disastrous for your pet. Giving your dog a designated space will decrease the likelihood of your dog getting underfoot or tangled in fishing lines.

River and ocean currents can pose special dangers to your pet, so be ready to help him out when swimming in these waters. This is when the flotation device can be a lifesaver because there’s usually a handle on the back of the PFD to grab and haul your pet to safety.

Insects, Snakes and Wildlife

When you’re out hiking the wilderness or taking a walk in the woods, you should be aware of the dangers lurking there. Besides the obvious insects: mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks there can be venomous snakes that are potentially hazardous to your dog’s health.

Wildlife usually run away when humans and dogs approach. But they might stand their ground if defending young, and they can hurt your dog. Depending where you’re enjoying the great outdoors, you could have a run-in with coyotes, wolves, lion, deer, elk and moose. Because skunks and porcupines can’t move too fast, they have defense mechanisms to deter attack that can cause your dog pain. If you have a small dog, keep him close to you as eagles have been known to attack small dogs.

Fireworks

More dogs are lost during the Fourth of July celebrations than any other time of year. If your dog or cat is reactive to the noise and lights of this festive time, be sure to create a safe haven in your home where your pets will not be bothered. Because the sensitivity can come on suddenly, be aware if your pet is bothered by thunder and lightning before she runs away in panic.

When you do take them out, be sure to keep them on a leash if there’s any chance they might bolt in fear. When you have a Hale Pet Door, you can securely lock them in the house with the security cover, so there’s no chance of losing them while you’re out celebrating our nation’s birthday.

Dog Water Safety Tips for Home and Out & About

water pugYour pet’s safety is important both to avoid vet bills and unnecessary pain and suffering. Here are a few tips to keep your dog safe while enjoying summer fun.

Safety First when Boating with Your Dog

All dogs can swim, and some are quite expert. However if your dog is accidently thrown overboard, the impact with the water can momentarily stun him, and his swimming instinct may not kick in. The wake from a moving watercraft or the rapids of a fast moving river can roll your dog preventing from swimming.

There are several manufacturers of life jackets for dogs. This site outlines the pros and cons of some of them: http://www.boatus.com/foundation/findings/findingsdog.htm

Keep a close eye on your best friend the first few times in the boat or raft to make sure she doesn’t jump after flying birds or interesting things floating in the water. As with other new experiences, training is essential to a good time for both you and your pet.

Be Aware of Changes in Natural Waterways

That lazy river or small stream can become a hazardous torrent when weather quickly changes upstream. It may be bright and sunny where you are with no notice of rain, but if it’s raining miles upstream, your walk by the creek can change without warning.

If your favorite waterway begins in hilly country, a thunderstorm miles away can change that placid waterway into a danger to your best friend who could get washed away. Pay attention to the weather forecast at the source of the river or stream to avoid putting your dog’s life at risk.

Summer Thunderstorms Can Be Lethal

Get off the water as soon as thunderstorms threaten. Most lakes are flat and wide open, and water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Lightning can be harmful if not fatal to you and your pets, so get off the water and into a building or your vehicle as soon as possible.

Avoid the rivers or streams that feed the lake in case the storm creates a flash flood.

Floods Bring More than Water

When water rises, it can bring all sorts of dangers downstream to your dog who is happily splashing in the water on a hot summer day.

Branches and downed trees can break loose in high water creating a potential collision with your dog. In severe flash floods the water brings rocks and boulders tumbling down the stream or dry wash.

Another not so obvious danger is the pollution from storm water runoff. Pesticides and fertilizers from lawns or farm fields can be toxic for your dog to drink or through skin absorption.

If there’s a sewage plant or septic tanks upstream, the flood water can bring all sorts of nasty pollution into the creek that could potentially make your dog ill.

Safe Water in Your Backyard

If your dog likes water to cool off in, a small kiddie pool can bring relief from the dog days of summer.

Just make sure to change the water often to prevent mosquitoes from reproducing. Another reason to keep the water clean is that dogs usually drink from their pools, and you don’t want her to drink polluted water.

Get a Hale Pet Door So Your Dogs have Access to the Yard and the House

When your dog can ‘answer the call of nature’ then escape the summer heat, he’ll be less likely to develop urinary and elimination problems and be less frustrated. Keep your dog healthy and happy with a Hale Pet Door.