Summers, although a fun and leisure-filled season, can get a little annoying for both humans and canines. The heat leaves us all with a dip in energy levels and craving for the cool. While we find ways to keep ourselves comfortable, here are some easy ways to help your dog have a good summer too.
1) Stay in the shade
Try staying in the shade as much as you can. While choosing your walk/exercise timings, choose the slightly cooler times of the day such the ones just after sun rise and just before sun-down. If you have a large open space in your house where your dogs usually rest, ensure that it’s shaded and that they can easily come into the house when they wish to. If travelling with your dog, ensure to park in the shade with the window slightly open.
2) Cool mid-meal snacks.
Mid-meal snacks can play a pivotal role in keeping the dog cool and adequately hydrated. Ice-plates, a dollop of curds and bone-broth are some excellent coolants. If your dogs like fruits like watermelon and mangos, cut small pieces of these fruits and put them in an ice-tray. Fill it with water and freeze. These popsicles make for a fun change and a great snack for the canine.
3) Cold Towels
Dogs will often be found sleeping on the cold hard floor to keep themselves cool. At times they also spill the water from their water bowls to lie in it. In such cases, take napkins or thick towels, wet them a little and set them in the refrigerator. When cool, your dog can use them as a cool mat to sleep on. Word of caution: After the mat has been used, ensure that your pet is dried thoroughly as moisture can be a breeding ground for infection.
4) Swim sessions if your dog likes them
If your dog loves a good swim, have him/her take a dive instead of one exercise session. It will tire the dog out just as much if not more and will also help him beat the heat. If the COVID conditions in your area permit, only then take him to his/her usual pet pool else, use a back-yard tub or kids pool. If you don’t have a tub or pool, but have an open space or garden, you can use the water hose to create a mini rain-shower. To add to the summer fun, have the kids get wet along with the dog too.
5) Staying hydrated
Dogs get dehydrated far more easily than humans do. It goes without saying that the water bowl must be full throughout the day. Even when stepping out for a walk, especially the ones longer than 15-20 mins, carry a water bottle for your dog as you would do for yourself. You can also consider switching to wet dog food during the summers. While you avoid dehydration, here are key indicators of dehydration to look out for.
Whitish and/or dry gums – Dry gums are one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. This is most usually marked by extensive licking of lips by the dog.
Excessive panting – Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat. They pant a lot to keep cool. The tongue often comes out to a full-length but ensure that the tongue isn’t going blue.
Tough skin – Pull the skin on the dog’s back gently and if it doesn’t retain its original shape instantly, i.e. falls back slowly; the skin has lost its suppleness it is a sign your dog may be dehydrated.
Vomiting and diarrhoea – Loose motions are common during the heat, but if they are accompanied by puking, seek medical intervention immediately as these might be indicators of dehydration too.
With the right care for your dog, we hope you and your family have a fun summer at home. If you do try out any off our “pro-formulae” to cope with the summers, let us know how they worked out. Better yet, send us a photo or a video to show how you #BeatTheHeat.