Despite the hot weather, our dogs need and want to be just as active in the summer as they are in the cooler months of the year. The problem is that in many places, the summer heat is too much for our dogs to maintain their regular amount of exercise and this can lend them vulnerable to heatstroke. Many pet parents consider dog grooming to be a good method to relieve some chance of heatstroke, but that doesn’t completely solve the worry nor is it effective for all dog breeds. Here are some hot pet industry tips for preventing illness due to the summer heat:
Before you give your dog a summer haircut, you want to check with your vet or dog groomer first. While dog grooming can help a number of dogs in the summer, dogs with double coats do not benefit from haircuts for summer heat. Their double coats insulate them to keep them cooler and protect their extremely sensitive skin from the sun. If you feel like you must cut your double-coated dog’s fur due to swimming, cut just above where the double coat starts to preserve it. However all dogs benefit from a good brushing that helps remove the remainder of their winter coats.
Bring Plenty of Water
Dog grooming isn’t the only thing you can do to alleviate heat on summertime walks. Whether you’re going to the beach or a walk on a trail path, always bring plenty of water for not only yourself, but your dog. Bring a collapsible bowl or other accommodations your dog needs in order to keep herself properly hydrated during the walk.
Break Up Exercise Time
Prevent heatstroke with dog grooming and by breaking up your walk times. While you might be used to taking an hour long walk or longer during the cooler months, try breaking the walk up into 10-20 minute segments at most to keep you and your dog out of the heat.
Go for a Swim
If your dog loves water, try taking your exercise to the shore if you happen to live near a dog friendly beach. Water can be a great way for the both of you to cool down. If your dog has an excessive coat, you may consider having it trimmed with dog grooming so he isn’t carrying around as much weight when wet.
Do Not Leave Your Dog in the Car
While your dog might be okay to stay in a car during the milder months, you never want to lock your dog in the car with extreme heat or extreme cold. Your car offers no protection from temperatures and can actually make the temperature more extreme. Whether you dog has just visited dog grooming or not, long or short coat doesn’t matter. Don’t leave your dog for thirty minutes, don’t leave your dog for five. This mistake can be fatal.
Avoid the Hottest Heat
Some days in summer are going to be much hotter than others. On these days, no amount of dog grooming, water, or anything else will help your dog remain healthy in the sun. On these days, the asphalt or cement might even be hot enough to give your dog’s paws burns. On these days avoid going out when the sun is up. Instead, save your outdoor playtime until cooler parts of the day such as sundown or sunrise.