It’s getting hot outside, and it's time to take off a few layers. But what about your dog?
I live in Dunedin, where people take their dogs with them everywhere, all the time. This time of year, people need to think about the heat before taking their dogs along.
Here are three tips for keeping your dogs comfortable during the summer.
1. Walk when it's cooler outside.
I have been watching people walk their dogs in the hottest part of the day on blacktop. For people, walking in the afternoon isn't a big deal — but they wear shoes!
I love taking my two babies out with me, but I also love them enough to keep them healthy and comfortable. I only take them walking early in the morning before it gets hot, or in the evening as the sun is going down.
2. Give your dog extra water breaks.
I am not a runner, so I would never take my dogs running, but I see people doing it every day. Remember: If you are sweating and getting dehydrated, your dog is even more so, and he cannot tell you that he needs to stop for a drink of water.
3. Protect your dog's skin from the sun.
It is a good idea to put sunscreen on your dogs if they have a chance of getting burnt. Most of the time, this applies to light-colored dogs with little fur. Just make sure you use dog sunscreen and not human sunscreen! You may think this is not a big deal, but the dog will lick itself and ingest the sunscreen. Doggie sunscreen can be found at your local pet store, or even online.
When you reach for the leash this summer, think about your dog’s health. Your dog cannot put shoes on, take off its fur coat or even carry its own water. Please do not take your dog out in the heat unless there is a way for it to cool down, do not make it walk on hot blacktop, give it lots of water, and protect it from the sun.
And, of course, the final thing you need to do with your dogs this summer is: Love them, and have fun!