Spring is in the air, and while that means at least a couple of months of pleasant weather and much more outdoor activity for your dog, it also means the temperature is slowly climbing. Before you know it, pleasant warmth can turn to unbearable heat, leaving you sweating and your dog panting.
So how can your furry friend cope when the thermometer rises? After all, it’s not like they can remove their fur. Well, there are a few ways to make sure your dog remains comfortable. For one, make sure your dog has a dark and shady place to rest while outside, such as a ventilated dog house or a covered patio. It’s also very important to make sure there’s a continual supply of clean water in a weighted dish. Your do will be much thirstier than usual due to the heat, so you’ll have to keep on top of the water levels in his dish and make sure he’s staying hydrated.
If you have a misting system in your backyard, or even a small kiddy pool with a couple of inches of water, you can use that to cool down your pup as well.
It might seem like a smart idea to let your dog swim in your pool, but if you do, it’s essential that the dog is trained on how to get out of the pool via steps, or you run the risk of drowning. And if they aren’t trained, make sure the pool is fenced and inaccessible, because otherwise your pet may not be able to resist the temptation to dive in and cool off.
As for walking your dog, only do so in the early morning or late evening, when the sidewalk won’t burn its tender paws. If you do go for a walk, bring plenty of water for the dog and make plenty of rest stops.
But what if, despite taking all these steps, your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion? You can tell by the presence of rapid breathing, heavy panting and salivation. Other signs include muscle tremors, fatigue, and staggering around. If your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion, take him to a cool place and apply wet towels or cloths to cool him down. Give him small amounts of water, and don’t hesitate to call the vet.
And don’t forget that with heat comes insects and susceptibility to the usual pests, such as fleas and ticks. Prevent costly procedures by making sure you’re well stocked with medicine to ward off these common threats to your pet’s health.