Imagine being outside on a hot summer day with the sun beating down on you while wearing your winter coat. Depending on the climate in your area and what breed you own, this may be just how your dog feels during the hot summer months.
On hot summer days, dogs are not only uncomfortable, but they are vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. This can be fatal, especially for overweight and older dogs.
Dogs pant in an attempt to keep cool. Dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet, so they are unable to cool off adequately by sweating like humans are able to do. So what can you do to keep your dog cool on a hot summer day?
Although all dogs still need exercise even in the summer, in an effort to keep your dog cool, all strenuous exercise should limited to the cooler morning and evening hours of the day. Your dog should not over exert himself during the hottest part of the afternoon.
During the hottest part of the day, it is best if your dog is kept indoors. Your dog will enjoy the comforts of indoor air conditioning; and this is the easiest way to keep your dog cool on a hot summer day.
However, if you must leave your dog outside, you should make every effort to keep your dog cool while you are gone. Make sure that your yard has plenty of shade available. Put out several bowls of water with ice cubes. A children's small plastic swimming pool, filled with cool water and placed in the shade, will provide a cool, relaxing resting place for your dog. Pet cooling mats, available at pet stores or online, are another way to keep your dog cool on a hot summer day.
Many dog owners have their dog's coat shaved during the hot summer. This may be a solution to keep your dog cool depending on your breed. Some breeds have coats that insulate them from the heat, and shaving them will do more harm than good. Consult with your veterinarian before shaving your dog.
Never leave your dog alone in your closed car. There is no way that you can keep your dog cool on a hot summer day in a closed car, even if the windows are cracked and you are parked in the shade. Within minutes the temperature in the car will rise to over a hundred degrees.
References: Personal Experience and Knowledge