Summer is here, and while it can mean loads of fun to most dog owners, it can spell danger for those that are unprepared for the dangers of summer, especially if the country is experiencing a heatwave. Indeed, while it is a good time to head outdoors with your dogs, we should always monitor the heat levels as it could adversely affect your dog.
If you are looking to bring your dog outdoors during the heatwave, then read on to find out how you can care for your dog so that you are not caught unprepared when the heatwave arrives!
How to care for your dog during a heatwave
During summer, especially when a heatwave arrives, the mercury levels will surely soar. When this happens, the risk factor of your dog getting injured can be high too. Do you know that dogs can actually die from the summer heat, as a result of suffering from a heatstroke? Yes, dogs can be affected by heatstroke too, and this is something that you will want to avoid completely. With that, then identifying symptoms of heat stroke in dogs will be important too. Some of the tell-tale signs includes the dog panting excessively or the dog not urinating as much as it used to.
But while knowing the symptoms is important, it will equally be important to mitigate the risk factor yet having the ability to have fun under the sun with our furry companions.
This is perhaps the most basic of all tips. You should ensure that your dogs are well hydrated when the heatwave arrives. Note that dogs lose water in ways that are different from us, and hence it is common to assume that dogs, when they are not sweating, means that they are not feeling hot! To avoid the unknown, make it a good practice to keep a watchful eye on your dog, and always ensure that water is readily available for them.
To do this, you can opt to pour water in a water bowl and place it near the dog. You can also simply cup your hands and pour water in it so that the dog can drink the water right from your hands. Try not to let your dogs lick on ice cubes though as we are unsure if this practice is sound for dogs or not.
Try to keep them off pavements
When a heatwave arrives, the temperature will soar tremendously, and that can cause the floor on the pavements to rise uncontrollably. Try cracking an egg on the pavement and watch it start to sizzle and cook. Image what could happen to the dog when they step on that same hot pavement!
Many owners assume that the fur on the dog’s paws can help to insulate it from the heat, but this is a dangerous myth that we will need to debunk. Indeed, if your dog walks on the hot asphalt floors for too long, you will notice that the paws will start to turn red, and that is a clear indication that the dog is already injured by the heatwave. If you are still not convinced that the hot floors can damage your dog, try putting your bare feet or hands on the pavement and feel for yourself the effects that the hot floor has on your feet.
To prevent this from happening, choose your time at which you would want to bring your dog our for walks. We will encourage you to bring the dog out during the early mornings, before the sun starts to rise as the previous night would have cooled the floor down considerably.
Play under a shade whenever possible
If you want to bring your dog outdoors during a heatwave, the best option for you will be to bring them to a shady area so that they are away from the direct sun. Some possible places can be the playpen outdoors or even a shady part of the park. But note that you should avoid places where bushes are aplenty, as you wouldn’t want your dog to run into the bushes without knowing what lies beyond.
Take your dog for a swim
During a heatwave, temperatures can be crazily high, hence most of us will head to the pool for a good time in the water as being in the water helps to cool our body down. This goes the same for dogs too, hence you can opt to bring the dog to the nearby dog-friendly swimming pool. Or if you are living near any water body, you can bring your dog there too.
For the adrenaline junkies, you can try dog surfing with them, or even try island hopping with your dog too. But note that while all of these can be fun, we will urge you to get life vest for your pet so that it can stay safe while enjoying the activities with you.
Purchasing cooling items for the home
Most of our guide thus far are mitigating factors that involves bringing the dog outdoors. But if you are intending to keep your dog at home during the heatwave, there are still other means that you can employ to keep the dog cool! There are two main items that you can opt to buy for the dog.
- Cooling dog houses
If you haven’t already, it is a good time now to invest in a dog house so that your furry pet can rest in the dog house when they are tired. Currently, there are many dog houses with inbuilt cooling functionality that can help to keep temperatures down. One main factor for this will be the choice of material for the dog house itself. Avoid getting a dog house that is too enclosed. Rather, you should get one that is well ventilated so that the dog can be kept cool from the ventilation.
- Cooling dog bed
If there is no place for a cooling dog house, then you can opt for the miniature variant, which is the cooling dog bed. Some dog beds are elevated off the ground, and this helps to promote airflow around the bed itself, hence assisting in keeping your dog cool. There are several other types that uses cooling gel pads that helps to keep the dog cool by removing heat from the dog! Of course, you can always put the cooling dog bed in the dog house for the multiplier effect.