The weather is warming, which means us at Parkgate Animal Hospital will be spending more and more time outside, especially with our furry friends. This means we need to think about how to keep dogs cool in summer. They have to go out to “do their business,” but they also like to lie in sunny spots and wander around, sniffing the air and chasing squirrels. When they come back inside, they are tired, stinky, and hot. Although Vancouver is not known for it’s severe heat, it can get to temperatures which are uncomfortable for both us and the dogs. Here are some quick and easy ways to keep your pooch cool this coming summer;
1. Keep your dog hydrated
First and foremost, keep your dog hydrated. This is pretty obvious, but my pets go through water quickly in the summer, so I have to keep an eye on the water bowl at all times and refill as necessary. On particularly hot days, I’ll add some ice cubes to the bowl.
2. Purchase a kiddie pool for your dogs
Some dogs have no time for water, but others are all about splashing around. If your dog is more of a splasher than not, I recommend getting one of those cheap, plastic, child-sized pools for them to wade or lie in. Not only are you cooling them off, you could even sneak in a secret bath!
3. Give your dog frozen treats!
My dogs love eating more than anything else on this earth. I use this love of food to my advantage by feeding them treats that are cool, high in water content or both.
Dog ice cream is found in pretty much every grocery store, but if you like you can make your own dog ice cream or DIY with any of these frozen dog treat recipes. Frozen broth popsicles are another easy frozen treat your dog will love; also, chilled cucumber is a no-prep option that is full of water.
You could also treat them to a cool, refreshing, smoothie! A great option, if I do say so myself.
4. Simmer down on a cool surface
If you don’t have cool flooring or your dog is outside, you can apply this principal by soaking a towel in cold water and letting your dog lie on that. Speaking from experience, I guarantee it will make a huge difference.
5. Get gear to keep your dog cool
We basically live in the future (sans hoverboards, but I guess we can’t have everything). There is a gadget and a gizmo for almost every problem we face.
For the whole “it is way too hot for man or beast out here” problem, there are cooling collars, vests, and beds. There are even little boots to protect your dog’s little feet from the hot pavement.
6. Make sure your dog has shade
If your dog is outside, make sure there is somewhere he can go to take shelter from the sun’s terrible rays. Set up a little tent or umbrella. Set it up next to the kiddie pool and serve your pet tropical smoothies for a staycation vibe.
7. Proper grooming is especially important in the summer
Though clipping double-coated dogs won’t help keep them cool (the top “guard hairs” actually act as insulation against the heat and sunburn), keeping your pup properly groomed will. The undercoat is actually part of a dog’s natural cooling system, but if not properly maintained it can become matted and prevent air flow across your dogs skin. Frequent brushing helps remove any “dead” fur and keeps your pets coat healthy and comfortable.
8. Be smart about keeping your dog cool in the summer
In addition to all the great things you can do, there are some things you should never do, especially when the weather heats up.
Don’t leave your dog in a car, don’t tie them up in the sun, don’t walk them during the hottest part of the day, and don’t walk them on the hot asphalt. Prevention is always easier than dealing with a crisis later.
If a crisis does occur, make sure to immediately give us a call here at Parkgate Animal Hospital (604-929-1863) so we can ensure the safety of your pooch!