Beating the Heat

Posted by PetSteps DogTraining on Thursday, August 9, 2012
Wow is it every hot these days! Are you and your dog keeping your cool? If you are feeling hot these days, your dog is feeling it even worse.  Here are some things to know about your dog to help keep them cool:
1) dogs dissipate almost all of their heat by panting and evaporating moisture from their tongue. They do not sweat like we do so are more prone to overheating. They need lots of water to keep their tongues and bodies hydrated to support all that panting.
2) some coat types can not only help keep a dog warm in the winter but keep the hot sun heat out in the summer. Before you rush to shave the fur off your dog, check with your vet or professioanl groomer to see if it's the right thing to do for your particular breed of dog. Also remember that their skin normally doesn't get exposed to sunlight so their skin can burn after being shaved.
3) dogs don't always tell you they are hot and tired. They will try to keep up with you no matter what. If you are riding your bike with the dog, it may be too much for them and you won't know it until them get home and collapse.
4) be careful of overheating a wet dog. They may be cool while they are in the water, but once they come out and the water starts to evaporate around them, it can be like a little sauna. Imagine yourself putting on a wet fur coat then standing in the hot sun. It might be cool at first but then it will get pretty humid unless the wind is blowing. Never put a wet dog into a confined space!

So to help keep your pooch cool here are some ideas:
1) put ice cubes in their water dish. Or fill a dish half full of water, freeze it, then fill it up with water.
2) leave a jug of water in the fridge so you are topping up their dish with cold water.
3) stuff canned food into toys and freeze it. Feed your dogs these "pupsicles" instead of dry kibble.
4) walk your dogs earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not as intense and it cools down.
5) leave a kiddy pool in your back yard for your dog to wade in.
6) if you have a shaddy place in the garden with a patch of dirt, let your dog dig in it. Some dogs will dig down into the cool dirt and lay in it.Crawl spaced under porches are great for this.
7) brush your dogs so that air flows in and around their fur to optimize the little direct heat loss from their skin that they have.