Texas summers can be rough! Quite often, water and shade just don’t help enough. Here are some tips and tools to keep your dog safe and comfortable during the hottest months of the year:
Think beyond the basic bowl when it comes to water. Aside from panting, the only way dogs can effectively cool their bodies is by sweating through their paw pads. Small dog pools or baby pools are a great option in the backyard for your dog to stand or lay in. If your dog is out and about with you, bring along a convenient traveling water bottle/dish combo, like the Gulpy Water Bottle, to keep him hydrated on the go.
Say goodbye to all that extra fluff. It’s shedding season, so for most dogs that means their warm undercoat is falling out. It’s easy to move that process along with a special brush like the Furminator. You don’t need to give your dog a buzz cut to give him relief; a healthy long coat can actually protect in hot weather by providing insulation against heat, as well as protection from sunburn and parasites. But a neglected/matted coat traps in heat and moisture, causing skin rashes, odor and discomfort, so be sure to brush out that long coat daily!
Get your dog outfitted like a true K9 professional. What do working Military, Law Enforcement and Search & Rescue Dogs have in common? They all must be provided fail-proof protection that lasts, even in the most extreme temperatures! Take advantage of this awesome body cooling technology for your dog by ordering a RPCM® “Chilly Dog Cooling Vest.” For about $130, your dog can combat heat stress for 2 hours with a vest that maintains 59°F. Best part? It can be “recharged” in the freezer in just 20 minutes!
Give your dog a cool place to chill out—literally. Some dogs love to get some R&R on a Canine Cool Bed, while others prefer the continuous breeze from a fan placed in front of their crate. Consider your dog’s preferences and set up an area that your dog can easily retreat to when he’s had enough of the heat.
It’s the little things that make a big difference. Before you head out, place your palm down on the sidewalk and asphalt—if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s definitely too hot for their paws! Consider investing in some durable dog boots to keep their pads from burning. Have your dog practice wearing them briefly a few times inside of your home first – be fun and give plenty of treats and praise to create a positive association with the boots.
Do make time to exercise your dog at dawn or dusk. We shouldn’t keep our canine companions from enjoying a well-needed romp or run—excessive energy, lack of stimulation (i.e. boredom) often fuel undesirable behaviors (chewing, barking, jumping up, etc). Help meet your dog’s needs by making nighttime activities safe and simple. Forget glow in the dark toys—grab an LED-illuminated ball or Frisbee so you and your dog can easily find the toy in the dark. If you take your dog for a run, opt for accessories with reflective material and/or an LED safety light for your dog’s collar to maintain visibility in the dark.
Before I bring this blog to a close, I feel obligated to remind everyone about hot cars and dogs. It seems like it should be common sense, yet thousands of dogs still die in cars every year! People aren’t thinking about the risks, they’re thinking “I’ll only be gone a minute or two” as they go inside a store or run a quick errand (which often takes longer than anticipated).
Yes, it only takes a few minutes for the interior of a car to rise to 120 degrees, a temperature at which dogs will quickly experience death. At 107 degrees, dogs’ bodies begin to experience irreversible damage to the nerves, heart, liver and brain. These numbers aren’t exaggerated, and if you don’t believe me, try sitting in your car with a jacket on and the A/C off.
At MyDogIsCool.com, you can learn how quickly the temperature can rise inside of a car at any given temperature outside. Don’t assume that everyone is aware of the risks that are involved; kindly share this knowledge with others because it might just prevent an unnecessary tragedy. And if you see a dog inside of a car, even on a mildly warm day:
• Take down the vehicle’s make, model, color and license plate number
• Have the owner paged inside of the nearby stores
• If the owner does not come forward immediately, call local humane authorities or police.
Check out this video from the ABC show “What Would You Do?” to see how people reacted to a dog left inside of a hot car.
If you have any tried and true tips or tools for keeping dogs cool, please share with us by commenting below!
*Austin Dog Zone is in no way affiliated with the above products and we receive no monetary compensation for mentioning them. We are simply expressing our opinions about what works for our dogs through experience! We look forward to your examples and any tips you might have.