If you ask a Gussy & Company Pack Leader what her favourite season is, it’s safe to say the answers will unanimously be Summer! It could be the amazing sunshine, blue skies, or maybe it’s the ability to wear shorts and t-shirts as opposed to the layers upon layers of pants, sock and sweaters that we wear the other half of the year. Or maybe it’s that we don’t have to dress the dogs in their sweaters and those oh-so-tedious rubber dog boots! Although they look so cute and prance so hilariously in them!
Unfortunately our dogs aren’t always able to handle the heat as well as their two-legged companions. Here are a few tips from our Pack Leaders to help keep your dog cool in the summer:
1. Water, water and more water!
Sounds like we’re stating the obvious but remember even when you don’t feel overly hot, your dog is still wearing the same coat he/she wore all winter. They are most likely hotter than you are! Water also serves to cool the body down and helps to maintain a normal body temperature. Some dog parks will have water fountains available but always remember to bring your own supply to ensure your dog has unlimited access to water on hot days. Having a bowl of ice cold water just might land you the title of “Most Popular Human” at the dog park too!
2. Take breaks in the shade.
Whether your dog is off leash at the park or enjoying a pack walk, ensure he/she is taking breaks in the shade. And don’t forget about allowing your dog shade inside as well! If he/she is crated while you are at work, be sure to keep the crate away from direct sunlight.
3. Find somewhere (anywhere) to get wet!
Swimming is an excellent way for your dog to cool off and get exercise at the same time, but like humans, not all dogs are strong swimmers. If your pup prefers the shallow end, simply allowing them to get their paws and belly wet will help keep him/her cool on scorching hot days.
4. Get the gear.
You know your dog, if shade and water aren’t cutting it, additional gear may be in order. Cooling bandanas, vests and matts are all great tools to help cool down your pup. Available in stores and online, they are easy to use and can make a huge difference for some of the larger breeds such as St. Bernards and Bernese Mountain Dogs, as well as especially heat sensitive breeds like the French Bulldog. Check out the Top Paw Cooling Vest or Ruffwear Swamp Cooler.
5. Prepare cool treats for your dog to enjoy after their outdoor exercise.
Not only is this a great way to reward your dog or encourage him/her to go into the crate, a frozen treat will also help them to cool off. The treat can be something as simple as wet food or peanut butter stuffed into a Kong and frozen for a few hours!
Adequate exercise is important for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing year round, just remember to take extra caution when the temperature rises and never leave your dog unattended in a hot car. They will thank you for the extra care and reward you with endless love and affection, just as they always do!
Opinions expressed in this article are opinions of the writer and not necessarily those of Bark n’ Yapp.