The weather is starting to warm up as a prelude to summer officially arriving in a few short weeks. So, before you get caught up in the changing temperatures and thinking of fun in the sun, be sure you are prepared to stay safe and enjoy the new season.
As the temperature starts to soar, you should begin to prepare yourself for the hot, humid days of summer. If your four legged companion is part of your summer excursions, it’s imperative that you are prepared to keep him safe.
You should first invest in a small insulated bag or backpack that you can carry with you easily. When starting out for a walk, run or even hiking with your pup, be sure that you pack a couple of bottles of water and a collapsible bowl. When walking or jogging, your pup keeps his body temperature moderate by sweating through his feet and, when a dog pants, heat rises up from his chest and escapes through the moisture of his tongue, mouth and throat. As he exhales during panting, the moist air evaporates and keeps him cool. In order to prevent your pup from becoming dehydrated or suffering heat stroke, be sure that you stop several times to rest in the shade and offer him some water. Any excess water left in the bowl can be sprinkled over your pup’s body to help refresh him.
If you’re out on a very sunny day and your pup has a thin fur coat, pinkish skin under their fur, or white fur or hair, be sure to apply some sun screen to prevent sunburn. If it’s extremely hot and humid, you may also want to use a “Cooling Coat” on your pup which is available at most pet stores or pet suppliers. A Cooling Coat is soaked in water and placed on your dog and helps to keep him cool.
If your summer plans include going to a cottage which is on or close to a lake or other body of water, be sure that you invest in a life jacket for your pup. Make sure you take your pup to the store with you to get a jacket that fits properly and be sure that you know how to fasten it on your best friend. Not all dogs can swim and, even those that do, if they accidently fall in a body of water, will initially panic. If their life jacket doesn’t fit properly, they may not be able to swim to shore or be retrieved easily from the water.
When the temperature starts to soar into the 30C mark, be sure that you keep your walks short, and in as much shade as possible. During these hot days, try to take your pup for a walk early in the morning and again late in the evening when the sun is not as intense and the temperature starts to drop. It may also be wise to drive your pup to a park so he can walk on some cool grass as opposed to a hot sidewalk. Remember, if it’s too hot for you to hold the palm of your hand on the sidewalk for a minute, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
If hot summer days include a “staycation” in your backyard, the same rules apply. Be sure that your pup has plenty of access to shade and a good supply of cool water. Also, if playing in the yard, either throwing a ball or Frisbee, make certain that your furry friend takes several breaks and doesn’t suffer from heat exhaustion.
Summer is a great time of year and, after a long and cold winter, it’s wonderful to get outside and enjoy the sun and warmth, but be sure that you are prepared to enjoy it safely with your best friend.
So stay safe and enjoy the dog days of summer ahead.