As the forecast changes and the summer heat is on full blast, we look for ways to stay cool. Many homes here in Long Beach don’t have air conditioning, so other sources of staying cool must be sought. We head to the beach, go for a swim, or hang out at the mall, but we tend to forget our dogs are suffering along with us. Heat injury is common in dogs during the warm months. The best medicine for heat injury is prevention, here are a few ways in which you can help keep your dog cool this summer.
This is an obvious one, but it is very important to keep your dog hydrated. Remember to keep an eye on your dog’s water bowl as it tends to empty pretty fast in the heat. On particularly hot days you can add some ice cubes to help keep the water cold.
2. Kiddie pools for your dog
If you don’t have time to take your dog to Rosie’s Dog Beach, the only off-leash dog beach in Los Angeles county, try filling up a kiddie pool for him. Even if your dog is not a big swimmer, he may like to splash around in a pool that is only filled up to his ankles.
Your dog probably loves eating just as much as he loves you, so use this to your advantage. There are many different cold dog treats that you can buy or make. Most grocery stores carry dog ice cream or you can make your own dog popsicles by freezing broth. Also, a chilled cucumber is great as it is filled with water and vitamins.
4. Make shade
If your dog has to spend his time outside, make sure he has shelter from the sun. Read one of our previous blogs on how to protect your dog from the sun.
5. Proper grooming is important
Dogs that have long and thick fur should receive a trimming for obvious reasons. The undercoat of the dog will help with sunburn and is actually part of a dog’s natural cooling system. Don’t forget to brush him often as the excess fur can build up creating more heat.
6. Don’t be dumb
In addition to all these tips, there are some things you should never do, especially when the weather heats up. The number one biggest thing is to never leave your dog in a parked car. The heat in cars can rise rapidly to triple digits within minutes. Even if you have to run in somewhere quickly, you never know what is going to hold you up. On a 90 degree day, a car’s internal temperature can rise to 109 within 10 minutes. Also, don’t walk your dog at the hottest point of the day as this can lead to heat stroke and remember the asphalt is scorching, so be careful with your little guy’s paws.