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Keeping your dog safe and cool during those hot summer days

By Brandigal (Donna)     Jul 3, 2007 in Health
We all like to stay cool during those hot summer days. Well our dogs also need to stay cool when it is hot out or it could be fatal to them. Some tips on what you can do to keep them happy and safe in the hot sun.
When we are out enjoying the hot summer days, laying in the sun, on a beach or by a pool, with our dogs, do not forget about their needs to be kept cool and hydrated.
Some tips on how to do this are:
1. On those days that they are warning people about the heat index, try walking your dog in the early mornings or later at night. The hot pavement can burn the pads on their paws. If your dog will wear booties, and you must walk them during the mid day when the pavement is hot, try putting them on your dog, the booties will help protect their paws. Try taking him or her swimming instead of a walk. This will give your pet exercise as well as keep them cooled down. Most dogs love the water.
2. Always keep your dog hydrated. If on an outing, carry a water bottle and a bowl for your pet. You can watch for signs of dehydration such as excessive drooling, bloodshot eyes, pale skin that when lifted takes longer to fall back into place and also your dog will appear lethargic.
3. If your dog is over heated, cool him or her off by putting a wet towel under their body. Dogs cool off from the bottom and not from the top of their coat. Spray them with water on their paws or stomach. Set up a kiddie pool for the dog. Allow them to dig in a shady spot, the ground below will be cool for them. Dogs with dark coats will hold the heat more than dogs with lighter coats.
4. Never take your dogs for drives if you know you will have to leave them in a parked car. The car will hold the heat more and dogs will get excited causing them to dehydrate faster. If you do have to take them, keep the air conditioner on for them and take water for them or keep the window rolled down.
5. You can also put a little sunscreen on your dogs noses or for dogs with short coats, on their coats. A waterproof sunscreen such as Waterbabies is safe for your pet and it is also dog-saliva-proof. They also have sunscreen for your pets available.
A lady I know, last summer, was out running with her dog and the dogs paws were burnt by the pavement. The dog was in a lot of pain and had to be taken to the vet. This could have been prevented.
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