It’s that time of the year again! The summer sun is not letting up, and just as we should take precautions to protect ourselves from the summertime rays, we must do the same for our canine family members, too. Dog safety precautions are extremely important to ensure that your canine is protected from the heat, inside and out. As humans have the ability to sweat from most of their body to naturally release heat and cool down, dogs have just a few spots on their bodies to sweat it out, namely their footpads. Another way dogs release internal heat is by panting, although it should be noted that panting is not sweating from the mouth – it’s simply another way for them to relieve themselves of the heat. One more way dogs naturally combat the heat is through vasodilation. Vasodilation is when blood vessels widen to increase blood flow to areas of the body that need it more than others. Canine’s facial blood vessels (including the vessels in their ears) vasodilate to help cool them down by creating more blood flow closer to the skin, which allows heat on the inside to be swapped with cooler air from the outside environment. But despite these (pretty interesting) natural cooling mechanisms, the summer heat can still (and commonly does) overwhelm your dog’s systems without additional care and precaution by us, the owners. With the love of our pooches in mind, Angels’ Eyes wants to provide you with some dog safety tips and tricks to help your best friends beat out the devastating summer heat:
Dog Safety Tips
Dogs expend loads of energy and, as stated above, they do not have many ways to release the built-up heat, especially when they’re using lots of energy in the hot sun. The best way to make sure they are cool and comfortable is to keep them hydrated with fresh water that is slightly cooler than room temperature, but not too cold and not too warm. Water that is too cold can cause cramping as well as shock and bloating symptoms, which would only make them more uncomfortable. Dogs need at least one ounce of water per pound each regular weather day, so naturally, they would need more on hotter days. Be sure to keep a fresh water jug and bowl with you when bringing your dog out in the heat, and always have fresh cool water accessible so they can hydrate as needed.
- Child-Size Pool
Another way to provide means for your dog to cool down is to pick up a kiddie pool and fill it with cool water. This lets your dog have the option to jump in and chill out whenever they feel a bit too warm from playing in the sun. These pools are generally inexpensive and reusable, and will most likely last you the duration of the summer.
They fit most if not all canine sizes and can be found at pet stores like Chewy.com and PetSmart, retail centers such as Walmart and Target, and also outdoor and sporting goods stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods.
- Frozen Treats
Frozen dog treats are a fun and delicious way to provide some temporary relief for your pup. Some scrumptious options include Peanut Butter Popsicles, Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Strawberries, and Frozen Pumpkin-Yogurt-Honey-Banana Treats.
- Cool and Shaded Surfaces
Another great way for your dog to cool down is with surfaces that do not easily hold heat, such as tile, marble, and cold-water soaked towels. These cool, large surface areas provide a way for heat to escape your dog’s body and “trade places” with the cool tile. This is a highly effective way to relieve your dog from overheating. Moreover, if you let your dog outside for extended periods of time in the summertime heat, you MUST make sure there are multiple shaded areas for your pup to lounge in. Whether it’s a covered patio or under a tree or even a hole your dog dug (soil and mud are cool materials protected from the sun’s rays), allow your canine to relax in and on cooler surfaces both inside and outside when the temperature rises.
Dog safety measures are imperative to a dog’s health, especially since dog safety, specifically related to overheating, is quickly gaining traction in mainstream media, with loads of reports of dogs being left in hot cars and left without the necessary components of keeping them cool, comfortable, and protected from the hot sun. We are responsible for keeping our dogs healthy, happy, and unharmed from the sun and other factors from which they cannot protect themselves without our aid. Before leaving you to play with your favorite furry family member, here are a couple last-minute dog safety tips that could help your pup escape the heat: have your pooch groomed regularly, especially in the summer, to ensure that their body is taking in and releasing heat evenly. Check out our grooming products here: Angels’ Eyes Grooming Products. Also, walk your dog in the early mornings before the sun beams down and heats up the sidewalks or in the evening after the sun retreats and the paths can cool down. This can help protect their footpads from overheating, which are one of their only spots from which they can naturally release heat in the form of sweat.
Now that you have some easy ways to safely relieve your dog of the hot summertime weather, we hope you and your pooch create wonderful, healthy, and safe memories this summer and for summers to come. For more information about caring for your canine, visit us at www.angelseyesonline.com.