Ahhh, summer! Always a favorite season among children, the hot weather months can be fun for you and your pet as well. However, if not properly cared for, there are many ways your dog could suffer in the heat. Follow these tips to make sure your furry friend enjoys the summer months as much as the rest of your family, even…
Many pets experience extreme anxiety during summer’s frequent thunderstorms, sometimes shaking uncontrollably, barking incessantly, hiding, or even becoming more aggressive. However, there are simple things you can do to help calm them. Many times, your dog’s strange behavior is due, not to the booming sound of the thunder or the sudden flashes of lightning, but rather to an extreme buildup of static electricity in his fur. Help alleviate his discomfort and possibly calm his nerves by rubbing him gently with a dryer sheet.
In the sun:
Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburn, too. In addition to purchasing special pet-friendly sunblocks and confining them to the shade whenever possible, you can also help prevent painful sunburn by ensuring that your pet has the proper haircut. Many pet owners seek to help their dogs stay cool in the summer by shaving their fur down to very short lengths, but this is actually counter-intuitive. It is true that a dog’s fur keeps him warm in the winter, but rather than just keeping cold air out, his coat actually keeps body-temperature air close to his skin. This means that in the summer, when the air outside is much hotter than his internal temperature, his fur can actually help keep him cool. Shaving your dog’s coat down to next-to-nothing lengths could therefore cause him to be more uncomfortable, as well as increasing his risk for dangerous sunburn.
In the heat:
Just like humans, your dog will appreciate a cold drink when it’s hot. Try adding some ice cubes to his water or even filling a whole kiddie pool with ice to give him a refreshing place to drink AND play. And just because your dog is panting a little doesn’t mean he’s uncomfortable. Panting is simply a dog’s way of staying cool without many sweat glands. If he is panting excessively, however, or if he seems to be having difficulty doing so, find help for him immediately. Flat-faced dogs in particular, such as pugs, have a harder time panting and therefore a harder time staying cool. Keep them comfortable by letting them lounge in the air conditioning whenever possible or treating them to a cold wrap around their neck.
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