For many households, dogs are a very important and much-loved part of their family composition. In the hear of summer, it can be challenging to keep our four-legged friends comfortable since they are covered by fur or hair of some sort. Extreme heat can cause illness, injury, and even death to these special pets that we care so deeply for, so we must do all that we can in order to keep them safe and comfortable.
Just prior those hot summer months, either take them into the groomer or perform a full deshedding yourself to get rid of that undercoat they needed for extra warmth in the winter. There are special tools for this if you are going to do it yourself, such as rakes, which will get deep into the coat and pull those loose hairs out easily.
Keep them clipped and groomed in the summer, even more steadfastly than you do at other times of the year so that their coat isn’t as heavy and hot on them.
Keep them inside where it’s cooler, when possible. If your dogs are not generally indoor pets for whatever reason, they may even be able to just have a limited area where they are allowed to come in in extreme weather, such as a mud or utility room.
Provide a covered area that is made of a material that will not allow the sun’s rays through. This might be a full doghouse, or it may be a lean-to sort of structure, but the dog should have somewhere to go and escape the sun.
Plant trees in your yard so that there are shady areas for the dog to retreat to when the heat comes on.
Bushes that are low to the ground, but high enough for the dog to get underneath, provide excellent places for the dog to go when it’s hot outside. These bushes not only block the sun’s rays, but there is often moist ground underneath that is cooler.
In the heat, your dog will need to drink more than usual in order to stay properly hydrated. Be sure that you check the water bowl often to ensure that there is fresh, cool water. Don’t use metal or glass bowls of any sort, as these will absorb the sun’s heat and can get dangerously hot, also heating the water they are holding.
If the heat becomes simply unbearable, grab a leash and head off to the beach or a river, where your dog can find cooler territory and go for a swim. If your dog will be getting in the water, it is a good idea to have a flotation device for him or her to prevent accidental drowning.
Dogs are beloved members of the families that they belong to. Because of the beautiful coats that they wear, the heat can be especially bothersome to them. As a responsible pet owner, it is up to you to ensure that they are safe and as comfortable as possible when extreme heat is an issue.