For many, summer is considered one of the most beautiful times of the year, so the faithful four-legged friend is of course part of all adventures. However, our furry friends start sweating just as quickly as we humans start to sweat when it is warm: Rapid breathing, panting and tiredness are the first signs that your dog is having trouble with the heat. You can find out here how you can support your four-legged friend on hot days.
Tip No. 1: Create enough drinking opportunities
A sufficient supply of water is the be-all and end-all when caring for your dog in summer. So that your dog does not run the risk of dehydration, it is important that you ensure that your dog drinks enough, especially on hot days. To ensure this, you can place several bowls of fresh water in the areas where your dog hangs out the most.
Drinking water for your dog is also essential on excursions or longer walks, especially since the dog is now also exposed to physical stress. It is therefore best to take a dog drinking bottle with you on the go and offer your four-legged friend water regularly.
Tip No. 2: If possible, postpone walks to the morning and evening
At noon there is the greatest solar radiation and therefore also the greatest heat. Accordingly, you should only go for a very short walk during the day and avoid longer walks to relieve your dog. Ideally, take advantage of the cooler mornings and evenings. This also applies to any other physical exertion, because too much exercise can quickly cause overheating. Extensive game units should therefore be left out.
Tip no. 3: Check heated road asphalt and avoid it if necessary
In the summer, not only does the air heat up, but the asphalt on the streets also gets hotter, and even more so than the air. The reason: asphalt stores heat very well, but only releases it again slowly. For example, it can still be a pleasant 25 degrees Celsius outside, while the asphalt can already have heated up to 52 degrees. The air temperature can be deceptive, so caution is advised!
To prevent your dog from burning his paws, it is important that you protect him from the floor that is too hot. In addition to going for a walk early in the morning and late in the evening, the route for the walk should also be taken into account. Preferably choose paths with floor coverings that do not heat up as much as, for example, grass or sand.
If it is unavoidable to use asphalt roads, you can do the 7-second test in advance. You simply place the back of your hand on the asphalt and test how hot the ground is. If you can’t stand it, then it’s definitely too hot for your four-legged friend.
Tip #4: Regular brushing
Depending on the breed, long-haired four-legged friends can be helped if their fur is shortened a little. However, you should be careful here, as the fur also acts as sun protection and should therefore not be cut too short. Rather, care should be taken to brush the dog’s fur regularly and carefully. This allows excess hair to be loosened so that the coat can let more air through and thus also supports the regulation of body temperature.
Also important when it comes to fur is that dogs with darker fur are much more susceptible to the sun’s rays than dogs with light-colored fur. As a result, shady spots for your four-legged friend are a must!
Tip #5: Shadow, shadow, shadow
Whether you’re going for a walk in nature, napping in the garden or relaxing in your own four walls, make sure your dog stays in the shade. Because if the dog is not exposed to direct sunlight in the first place, the risk of overheating is automatically minimized. In addition, you should create a cool retreat for your dog in the house. Dogs like to settle down on a cool surface such as tiles.
Tip No. 6: Never leave yourself alone in the car
When it’s hot, cars can turn into a real oven, which is why you should never leave your four-legged friend in the car. Even the shortest period of time can be life-threatening for dogs. You can also learn what to do if you notice a dog locked in the car in the heat in our article Can Dogs Sweat?
Tip no. 7: Refreshing bathing fun
If all else fails, the cool water is a great refreshment option. Depending on how water-loving your four-legged friend is, there are a few ways to cool down over water:
1.) Garden hose: So that your four-legged friend gets used to the cool water, you should start with the limbs when getting wet.
2.) Paddling pool: The dog will certainly like to see a small tub set up in the garden as a welcome opportunity to cool off.
3.) Lake, river or sea: If you come across one of these bathing opportunities while walking, you should first look out for signs, because some bathing lakes prohibit your four-legged friends from splashing around. It is also important that you do not let your dog out of your sight and that you gently lead them to the water if they are inexperienced swimmers.
Tip No. 8: Don’t forget to dry off!
The refreshment tips mentioned all result in the dog often being wet and even dirty afterwards. In summer, it is quickly assumed that the dog dries itself in the sun – a reckless thought, because even in summer drying off after swimming is unavoidable. Dogs with short hair can become chilled quickly, while dogs with long and thick fur take a long time to dry and could be at risk of cystitis. That’s why you should definitely help your dog to warm up again.
Drying off with an old terry towel would of course be an option, but the dog often remains damp and dirt residues can remain in the fur more easily. This dirt, in turn, can only be properly removed when the dog is completely dry. A conventional towel is therefore not only impractical for on the go, as it constantly slips off the dog, but also means that your four-legged friend carries dirt into your car or house.
A dog bathrobe can help against these problems, because the dog’s fur is completely dry within 30 minutes! The special feature: the nature of the cotton allows moisture to be extracted from the fur and then stored in the fibres. Since the dog’s fur is now optimally dried, the remaining dirt comes off much more easily and can be caught in the dog’s bathrobe. After taking it off, it can simply be shaken out and put away to dry. It is therefore very easy to use and the dog is not restricted, so that it has full freedom of movement.
If you think of these tips for dealing with your faithful four-legged friend, nothing can stand in the way of a summer full of adventures. Animal welfare is of course always the priority. If you notice that your dog is suffering particularly badly from the heat, it makes sense to ask your trusted veterinarian for advice.