Dogs and Heat: 10 Refreshing Tips to Enjoy the Summer
We are back again soon: between July and August, the summer reaches its climax. From the morning the sun's rays warm the floor of the house and at noon the heat becomes unbearable for our four-legged friends. Fortunately, with a few suggestions, you can make sure your dog gets through the hottest summer days without any problems. With this article, we explain what your furry needs in hot weather and how you can freshen it up.
- Create a cool shelter
- Hot temperatures, ice cream time!
- NEVER leave the dog in the car
- Drink a lot of water
- Foods with high humidity content
- Cool the dog's temperature by wetting his coat
- Beware of cystitis risk
- Adapt the walks with your dog at different times of the day
- Two scissors and go?
- Protect yourself from pests
Create a cool shelter
Unlike humans, dogs sweat only through their legs. Since this is not enough to regulate the temperature of the whole body, our furry friends release excess heat through the breath. But when the temperature rises excessively and the heat accumulated by the animal is too high, this mechanism alone is no longer sufficient.
For this reason, our four-legged friends need additional options to protect themselves from the sun and thus avoid the risk of a heat stroke: for example, you can place an umbrella in your garden or on the balcony. Keep in mind that dogs also like to cool off under trees and bushes.
Dark floors that are exposed to the sun during the day should be protected by a light blanket or an old towel to prevent overheating. If you realize that the floor temperature is particularly high, you can also consider moistening it. Another, more effective way to offer your dog a fresh surface to lie on is to use a cooling mat, the internal content of which usually consists of gel or water so that it can be cooled in the freezer before using it... To counteract the heat in the apartment, it is also a good idea to darken the windows from the morning through curtains or shutters. At night, on the other hand, leaving doors and windows open allows the exchange between hot and fresh air.
Hot temperatures, ice cream time!
When the temperature is high, everyone likes the idea of nice fresh ice cream. And this also applies to our faithful four-legged friends! Dog ice cream is a tasty way to quickly refresh our hot animals. A few ingredients are enough to make it at home and, after a few hours in the freezer, for example using the shape of an ice cube, the dog popsicle is ready. You can indulge yourself with recipes without placing limits on your creativity!
Here are some ideas for making ice creams that your paw friend will certainly find irresistible:
- Natural yoghurt and fresh quark-like cheese are very popular with most dogs, even once they have been frozen.
- Frozen beef or chicken broth is also suitable as a tasty low-carbohydrate variant.
- If you are in a hurry, keep in mind that hot dogs do not disdain the common ice cubes based on simple water
NEVER leave the dog in the car
In a very short time, cars turn into dangerous heat capsules, even if the outside temperature is mild. Unfortunately, at a certain temperature, even the open windows cannot guarantee the necessary heat exchange.
In summer, therefore, the risk of the car overheating too quickly and the animal suffering the damage of a potentially lethal heatstroke is very high. Therefore, when we go shopping or refuelling, we leave our dogs at home in a shaded area, to prevent them from suffering from excessive heat.
Drink a lot of water
When the dog breathes heavily, it presses the air against its mucous membranes making the fluids evaporate: this process lowers the animal's temperature. The more the dog pants, the greater the number of fluids it loses.
So when it's hot outside, it's even more important for your furry to drink enough. To make sure your paw friend is drinking enough fresh water every day, you can use the following tricks:
- Place several bowls of freshwater in your home or apartment.
- Actively encourage him to drink, showing him the bowls and offering him freshwater more frequently.
- Many dogs prefer to drink the water they find in the garden or unsalted broth instead of plain water.
- Water flowing from a tap or splashing water encourage some dogs to drink. There are special water distributors for dogs and drinking fountains on the market.
Foods with high humidity content
The daily water requirement of each dog varies according to body weight, the level of activity carried out and the type of food. For example, dogs that feed on kibble must drink more water than those who feed on wet food.
It is possible to cover a part of the dog's daily water requirement by feeding it. If your furry likes wet food, during the summer you can supplement his croquettes or replace them completely with the wet one.
Cool the dog's temperature by wetting his coat
A very easy way for your dog to get cool from the heat is to take a nice bath. If you don't live near a lake, a stream or the sea, you can find other ways to get your dog's fur giving him a pleasant relief.
In summer, dogs are especially happy to enjoy their own swimming pool or at least a small tub in which to dip their legs. With the right game, you can encourage your furry to take a nice bath. Lawn sprinklers and classic rubber hoses that are used to wet plants in the garden are also very popular with dogs because they allow them to play and cool off.
Even if your dog loves to splash around in the water, it is good that the water games do not last too long. If the dog ingested too much water, in fact, it could risk incurring water intoxication. The first signs, to be kept under control immediately, are restlessness and vomiting. In addition, in the event that your pet spends too much time swimming in the sea, there is a serious danger of sodium poisoning. It follows that, when it comes to entertaining dogs in the water, the right size and supervision of the owners are essential for fun to be authentic and risk-free.
Beware of cystitis risk
On particularly hot days it is important that the dog has the opportunity to cool off. However, one should never go overboard. Prolonged contact with a floor that is too cold or baths in frozen water can cause our furry friends to get a urinary tract infection (cystitis). Typical symptoms of this annoying problem include frequent urination (polyuria) or painful urination (Stranguria). For this reason, it is essential to always dry your dog after having bathed. Even the useful cooling mats must always have a controlled temperature or, alternatively, they must be covered with a towel, in case you suspect they are too cold.
Two scissors and go?
Many breeds of dogs have a particularly long coat. It is almost automatic for us humans to assume that our long-haired friends are very hot. But does using the clipper give them real relief?
To tell the truth, the thick fur of our dogs does not only have a protective function against the cold: the dog's fur also performs an important function of cooling its body temperature. Through the evaporation of the water that occurs on the surface of the fur, in fact, a cooling effect is created which gives the breeds with a thick fur a pleasant cooling sensation. Therefore, in the summer it makes no sense to cut the fur of all dogs indiscriminately. Race in this sense plays a fundamental role. If you are not sure how to behave, you can always seek advice from your veterinarian or a groomer.
Protect yourself from pests
On closer inspection, our last suggestion really has nothing to do with ways to keep dogs cool in the summer. However, the theme of pests is especially important during the warmer months, because tall grass and high temperatures are the perfect conditions for ticks, mites and parrots. For this reason, it is important to protect the dog from dangerous infectious diseases and severe allergic reactions by starting the necessary parasite prevention every year in the spring.
Very common are, for example, antiparasitic collars with pyrethroids or with neonicotinoid Chloronicotinics, spot-on to be applied directly to the skin of our hairy and chewable tablets with natural components. All three types contain active agents against parasites (pesticides), which differ from each other in terms of duration and spectrum of action.
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