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How to protect your dog during hot days?

Just like humans, dogs can get too hot. When the temperature rises in the summer, it's wise to take the necessary precautions. This way you can make sure your dog doesn't get overheated.

What actions can you take to get your dog through these hot days as comfortable as possible?

  • Access to fresh water

It’s of utmost importance to make sure your dog has access to fresh water the whole day long. Just like you can probably enjoy a fresh glass of water during a hot summer day, your dog can as well. To keep the water cool, put it in the shade and make sure it’s always full.

  • Use water during play time or organize swimming parties

Most dogs enjoy playing with some water. There are lots of dogs that will snap at water you throw up. This way you can play with your dog while giving him some extra cooling.

If you should go swimming, make sure to keep an eye open at all times. Even dogs that are used to swimming might panic or something might happen. In cases like this it’s important you are around to help your dog out. Although not every dog might be into swimming, I’ve noticed that most of them start enjoying it once they get the hang of it. Then it’ll just be the case to try and get them back out.

  • Dig a put

This might not be applicable to everyone, but if your dog has the possibility to dig, he might do this to cool himself down. The reason they do this is because the dirt underneath the first layer of ground is cooler than the top layer. After digging a little pit, they’ll probably just lay down inside it.

  • Plan your walks and playtimes in the morning or evening

Give your dog the opportunity to rest as much as possible during the hottest moments of the day. He will seek shade himself to make sure he won’t get too hot. To make sure you meet his physical needs, plan walks and playtime when it’s still cool outside.

  • Do NOT leave your dog in the car

Though this should be common knowledge, all too often people leave their dog inside their car. Annually, many dogs are saved out of a car just inches from death. The temperature in a car can rise extremely quick. Even when it’s only 24°C (75°F) outside, the temperature inside the car can rise above 30°C (86°F) in just 10 minutes.

  • Make sure the surface isn’t too hot

Contrary to their human companions, dogs do not walk around on shoes. Shoes protect us against burns when we walk around on asphalt that’s hot. The temperature of asphalt rises quickly when the sun is out and this could lead to burns on the soles of the feet of your dog. To make sure the asphalt isn’t too warm, you can place the back of your hand on it for 5 seconds. If this hurts, it’s definitely too hot to walk your dog.

  • Apply sun cream

Some dogs tend to get a burned nose. If that's the case for your dog, don't hesitate to apply som sun cream on it. This will protect him the same way it protects you.

  • Make a doggy ice cream treat

You shouldn’t feed your dog human ice cream, but you could freeze some water or bouillon to make a doggy ice cream. A little extra could be some (pre-cooked) chicken, some treats, certain fruits,... Put it in the freezer for about one hour and voila! Fun and taste guaranteed

You can find an example of a doggy ice cream in the video below.

Most of the times, your dog will seek shade himself when necessary. Make sure to give him this option. You shouldn't worry if your dog pants more than normally. This is a way for him to shed some excess heat.

The key message: Enjoy the summer days, but keep your dog's health in mind.

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