Summer is coming! Aah, the days when you and your dog can relax under a shade, sip on some cool iced tea and forget about the world. But that is not all that summer has to offer, now, is it? We are close to the equator and the days can get scorching.
The hot weather comes with its own advantages and disadvantages that can affect your precious pooch. But, a handful of care tips can make this summer a smooth and safe ride!
1. Drinking Ample Amount Of Water
No Brainers! Keep your pup hydrated.
Dog bodies are composed of 75-80% water whereas human bodies are composed of 55-60%. Hence, they dehydrate faster. Dogs do not have sweat glands in their skin, so their only method of cooling is to pant. This results in loss of water.
If your dog refuses to drink the required amount of water, make him a special, cool drink! Get some refreshing smoothie and mocktail ideas for your dog here. Alternatively, you can add chicken broth to his meal.
2. Walking Your Dog At The Correct Time
Your dog loves to go for walks, doesn't he? Summer sun can make your dog overheat. Time his walks to avoid mid day sun. Walk him before 8 AM or after 4 PM when the sun is not very strong. Be extra careful if you have a dog with dark fur. He is more likely to feel the effects of walking in midday sun since black/brown absorbs heat.
Dogs are closer to the ground and hence they are more susceptible to heat radiating from the ground. Asphalt is a commonly used while making roads and pavements, their temperatures can rise above 75°C (especially if you live in cities like Nagpur, Chennai or Delhi) in the afternoons. And, since paw pads are made up of keratinized epithelium, burnt paws take up to 3 weeks to heal.
Pawsome Tip: Pick side-walks or grassy surfaces to walk. Make them wear shoes. Zoof Casuals are specially made for summer walks. The upper of the shoe is made of breathable, textured canvas which avoids paws from getting heated. The sole protects paws from getting burnt. Zoof Casuals come in 7 sizes and 3 colors.
3. Healthy Panting Or Over Exhaustion?
When your dog runs around, he starts to pant after a little while. Panting is fine, healthy even! It is just a way how he regulates his body temperature. However, pay attention to over-exhaustion, hot flashes, intense dehydration or even sun stroke.
Breed predispositions to overheating and dehydration include flat-faced dogs like pugs because of their congenital respiratory difficulties as well as heavy coated breeds such as Huskies, Shepherds and Chow Chows.
If you notice that your pup’s temperature has risen over 103° F, then you should immediately shift him to a cooler place, give him a nice cool beverage to drink and run wet cloth over his back and face to try to get the temperature down. If none of these methods work, call your vet immediately!
4. Summer Grooming!
Your dog may not always enjoy his baths but you can increase his bathing sessions from once a month to maybe twice or thrice during the hot season of summer. Spraying your pup with a hand shower or just giving him a nice, cool bath can also be an alternative for a normal bath.
If your pup has a thick and long fur coat, you probably take him for haircuts frequently during the hot season. Avoid shaving if you can, prefer trimming. Shaving exposes their bare skin to the harmful rays of the sun. This can cause itchiness, rashes and painful sunburns.
5. Change In The Weather Means Change In The Diet
Eating heavy, meaty and hot food can burden your dog’s digestive system during summer. They may prefer to eat less than usual, that is perfectly ok. Also, it is not necessary to heat your dog’s food. A dog’s stomach is more acidic than a human stomach. Hence, most pathogens get destroyed. You can also give food that’s right out of the fridge. Also, include summer fruits like watermelons, mangoes and cucumbers and coconuts!
For an exciting change in your dog’s diet, you can make some fresh juice from any of your dog’s favorite fruit, put it in an appropriate container, and then freeze it to make a popsicle. (We can also call it a pupsicle!) Your puppy will definitely love this treat and will want to have it regularly!
It is also a good idea to change the meal timings. If you give your dog his first food at 11 AM, try shifting it to 8:30 AM. Dogs tend to not eat when it gets hot.
6. Parasite-Free Zone
Ticks, fleas and other parasites never leave your pup alone, now, do they? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. You can incorporate shampoos, creams and powder to get rid of these parasites from your dog. But what about the paws?! Try Zoof Wax which is a moisturizing balm that is made up of natural ingredients. It is lick-safe and fights against these harmful parasites.
7. Organize Fun Activities
What is summer without a fun pool party? Call your fellow dog parents and arrange a pool party. There will be toys, snacks, drinks and a lot of splish-splashes! If you do not have a pool, you can always order an inflatable one which is big enough for a couple of dogs to have a party in.
Apart from this, you can also take your pup to the beach, play fetch with him near the shore and take him for a nice bath in the sea. The waves will be fun and new for him! Taking your pooch for a nice and long boat ride can also be fun for you and him. And, definitely a lot of insta-worthy photos!
8. Things To Avoid
Never leave your pup along in the car even if the window is open or cracked.
It doesn’t have to be super hot outside for your car to heat up. The inside of a vehicle parked in 35-degree weather can reach 55 degrees in just 20 minutes. On very hot days, temperatures inside parked cars can climb to 80 degrees Celsius in less than one hour.
The summer season can be tiring, sweaty and exhausting, but you can also make it a lot of fun with little care!
What are you planning on doing for your dog this summer? Leave us a comment if you have any suggestions or questions!