Cold drinks, ball games, mosquitoes and hot dogs. Ahhh yes. Summer is very much here. With record highs and humidity, your dog needs to keep cool just as much as you do. They pant and drool to keep cool but overheating, dehydration and sunburn can get the best of any dog without proper precaution.
Some tips to keep in mind:
Clean, fresh water
Keeping fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times is a must. Make sure you keep an ample water source in a shady location. To constantly keep fresh water available consider installing an automatic watering system that hooks up to a faucet. These systems are designed to provide water as needed and are usually triggered by a float device which senses low water levels. Standing water can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitos and algae, so whether your dog’s water is manually or automatically filled it needs to be kept clean and fresh daily.
Adequate shade and shelter
Direct sunlight moves throughout the day. Your dog might enjoy sunbathing occasionally but ultimately needs a cool, shady area to lounge in. Prolonged sun exposure not only leads to heat exhaustion, it can also cause sunburn. The best defense is adequate shelter. Shade from trees definitely helps but may not be perfect. Be mindful of your kennel as it could quickly become an oven. Consider getting an insulated dog house or kennel, but make sure it is well-ventilated. Whenever possible, put the shelter in a shady area to keep it extra-cool.
If you want to cool your dog down quickly start with their belly and paws. Dogs cool down belly first. Dogs lay on cool dirt and concrete for a reason.
Try lightly spraying your dogs’ area with water. Many dogs like to sit and splash in a pool of water. Kiddie pools are a popular favorite.
Try a sprinkler system that periodically sprays or mists water. For dogs in kennels, this can be accomplished with PVC pipe mounted above the kennels.
Try adding a fan to keep the air circulating. Be sure to mount and secure the fan at a safe distance and keep wires safely out of reach.
Ultimately you know your dog best. Try out new ways to keep them cool and see what they enjoy the most. What is your tried and true go-to method for beating the heat?
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