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Keep Your Dog Cool Under Extreme Heat

July 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Keep your dog cool

The Summer months are very unpleasant for all of us, right? We tend to look for air conditioned buildings, or go to the beach and cool off by the ocean, or the pool.  Imagine how it would be to be outside, in 90˚ to 110˚ heat with a sweater on, and not being able to sweat to cool off? Not a nice thought…

Imagine just how your dogs feel during extreme heat? Their lives depends on you. You should do your best to keep them cool, since they can't do it by themselves.

If you must keep your dog outside, please make sure he has a good place with cool shade. The temperature in the shade might be 10 or 15 degrees cooler, but that's still too hot in a 110 degree day.  A wooden or plastic dog house does not provide a cool spot, just the contrary, unless you are able to connect a fan close by to help keep the area cool, or give them a cool bed. If the patio is all concrete, provide them with a mat or grassed area where they can be without burning their paws. Water is tremendously important. If you have a hose, there are special waterers that provide continuous cool and fresh water without any waste. Even in the shade, a bowl of cool water will become a bowl of hot tea in a few minutes.

However, even if you don’t like your dog to be inside the house, please consider closing off the kitchen or some small area of the house for them to spend the day during the Summer. If you go out, don't turn off the air conditioner, or at least leave them with a good fan and don't forget the cool water.

These are some things you should keep in mind:

-Avoid taking your dog for walks during the hottest hours. Walk them in the early morning or later in the afternoon.

-Ginger hanging out in the patioWalk them on grass. Asphalt can get too hot and really burn their paws.

-Using booties to avoid their paws from burning, can do more harm than good. They release sweat through their paws, and if they are covered too long, they could suffer heatstroke.

-Bring water with you on the walk for both of you.

-Keep a kiddie pool full of water in a shaded area.

-Short haired, pale dogs are susceptible to sun burn. Apply pet approved sunscreen on the most exposed areas, like the bridge of the nose and the tips of the ears.

-Breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers and other snub-nosed dogs can over heat a lot faster due to their shorter airways. Weimaraners are also very susceptible to heat stroke.

-Dogs with dark coats can absorb heat a lot quicker than lighter colored dogs, as well as thick coated dogs.

Butch keeping cool-Do not shave your dog for the Summer. Even in the heat, their coats serve an important purpose. Just do your best to keep them cool. Also consider that in some breeds, once you shave off their coat, it will never grow back the same, as is the case with Pomeranians.

And the most important thing you can do for your dog during hot days, is never, NEVER, leave the dog in the car for any amount of time… even in the shade, and even with the windows cracked. The interior of a car can reach 170 degrees in less than 15 minutes in 80 degree weather. It just takes a few minutes for a dog to succumb to heat stroke. They are better off staying home without you in a nice air conditioned place.

Learn the signs of dehydration on dogs: heavy panting, difficult breathing, vomiting or confused behavior. If you catch it early, you can avoid complications. Take them to the vet as soon as you notice this signs. However, you will be better off just helping them avoid the heat altogether.