Dogs in the summer heat. Shade, water and lots of rest – “hot” tips for dogs!

The notorious “dog days of summer” are here again. Day-long oppressive heat.  Such days are a test of toughness for a dog’s health. When all’s said and done, they can’t just shed their coats. Humans sweat, but it’s not so simple for dogs. Dogs don’t have sweat glands in their skin, only a few on the balls of their paws and they have to regulate their body temperature by panting. That’s why they have an increased fluid requirement in summer. Make sure your four-legged friend has access to fresh water at all times. With intense heat or exertion at high temperatures, dogs can easily overheat. In the worst cases the creature can even suffer a heatstroke. This is a life-threatening emergency which can even become fatal.

Keep your canine cool!

So what can be done to get your canine companion comfortably the summer safely? It’s well known that one of the greatest sins is to leave the dog in the car during warm weather. Within just a few minutes, the parked car vehicle heats up to the point where it becomes a torture chamber for the dog. High temperatures are quickly reached in car interiors. Then the animals suffer not only from the heat, but also from a lack of fluid which can lead to heat stroke and cardio vascular failure.  So avoid leaving your animal in the car! If you really have to, then make sure you’ve parked in a place which is in the shade for the whole time you’re away. Provide air by fitting a window grill, just leaving the window open a little is not enough.

Keep exercise simple.

Walks with the dog during high summer should be rescheduled for the early morning hours or late evening. But even then, watch out for signs of exhaustion and turn back in good time. Young dogs in particular know no limits to their enthusiasm for play. Mindless of the temperature, they’ll run after the ball and don’t even notice they’re overreaching themselves.  Find some more peaceful styles of play for your dog like sniffer games in the cool living room for instance, arranging the activities as far as possible in the shade and limiting the time spent on these enterprises. Jogging and cycling with the dog are better completely forgotten when it’s very hot. It’s much better to go swimming with him but even here you’ll have to take care not to expose him to the blazing sun.

Refreshing Rover!

For dogs with long coats, the heat is often just too much for them, even without some kind of activity. They’re permanently seeking out the shade then lie panting on their side and won’t move for anything. To cool the dog off, you can douse him with cool water, but not too cold. Set the garden hose to the finest jet and wet the body. Better to spare his head, most dogs don’t like their heads wet. If your four-legged friend can’t be inspired to take a shower, a wet towel laid over the body is a good alternative. Don’t shorten its coat too much with good intentions as it could get sunburned.

An ice cube (made from water, yoghurt or fruit juice and a dog treat in the middle, if you like), easy to make in the freezing compartment, is a delicious way to cool down on hot days for many dogs. You’ll be astonished how quickly your dog figures out that it’s better to suck the ice than break it down with his teeth. In this way even your canine companion can find a silver lining in the “dog days of summer”.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.