As the weather starts to cool down, you may notice changes in your dog's behavior. Even dogs that enjoy cold weather often need extra warmth and shelter in the fall and winter months. In order to keep your dog safe throughout the year, follow these cold weather dog safety tips below. They will ensure your pet stays happy, warm, and healthy even when the temperatures drop.
The summer months offer great warm weather for walking your dog. When the temperatures get too high though, your dog can overheat out in the summer sun. If you want to make this an enjoyable experience for both of you, you need to make sure your dog can cool down when he needs to. Here are six ways to keep your dog cool during summer walks.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIMES FOR YOUR WALKS
Early mornings and late nights are the best times to take your dog walking in the summer. These are the coolest parts of the day, and they have the least amount of sun overhead. If you have a dog with light fur or short fur, you may have to worry about sunburns with prolonged sun exposure. Walking at these times will help you avoid that and the pain your dog would go through as a result.
BRING WATER WITH YOU
Depending on how long your walk is, you may need to stop for water breaks along the way. Bring a bottle of water with you for your dog, as well as a small dish that you can pour it into. If you cannot bring a dish, you can pour water into the bottle cap and use that to let your dog drink. As a fun activity, you may consider getting a small vest to go over your dog’s back and let him carry the water bottle for the trip. This will give your dogs a sense of purpose, and the water in the bottles will help keep your dog cool.
INVEST IN DOG BOOTS
When you’re out on a walk, chances are you’re wearing shoes to protect your feet from the hot soil, sand, or pavement. Your dog may need the same thing on hot summer days. It may take your dog a while to get used to walking with boots, but eventually he will be thankful for the protection they provide for his feet. Grass tends to stay cooler than concrete, so if your dog cannot walk with boots, make sure he has somewhere to walk other than the sidewalk.
COOL YOUR DOG FROM THE GROUND UP
If you’re going to spray water on your dog to cool him down, do so from his paws up. The heat in a dog’s body is most concentrated at his feet, so those are the areas that need to be cooled first. If you’re going to use a wet towel to cool down your dog, put it on his stomach, not his back. This will provide much more relief for your dog in the long run.
GET YOUR DOG A KIDDIE POOL
A fun and easy way to cool a dog down after a summer walk is to let him play in a kiddie pool. Fill the pool with fresh, cool water and place it in a shady part in the yard. Let your dog sit in it for 10-30 minutes to cool his body down. Just make sure you dump the water out after your dog is done, as the pool could become a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes.
LET YOUR DOG CHECK THE WEATHER
On extremely hot days, you’re going to want to keep your dog inside. This may lead to a lot of whining at the door if your dog is used to going out every day. To avoid that, let your dog go outside on a leash for a few minutes so he can see just how hot and muggy it is. When he realizes that he’s better off inside with the air conditioning, he will find other ways to keep himself entertained.