Protect your dog from Summer heat
With the warmer climate now arriving, keeping our dogs in top condition is essential for making sure they do not overheat or allow their skin to be exposed to too much sunlight.
Understanding how dogs cool themselves is important and is often compared to how we cope with the heat. Many of us consider that if our dog’s hair is clipped short, this will help them to feel cooler – this, unfortunately, is not the case.
When we become hot, we have the ability to sweat – reducing the heat through its’ evaporation. Dogs do not have the ability to lose heat from their skin like us humans can but do it through panting, where heat is exchanged from the dog via the lungs i.e. panting – and the cooling of the thin walls of the mouth and gums. Dogs do have some sweat glands that are found in the pads of their paws – owners typically know of the foot/paw aroma of their dogs!
Cutting your dogs’ hair to a short style is not something that we recommend at tk-9.com Ltd. We prefer to keep a slightly longer coat to ensure that the dogs’ skin in covered and not exposed to sunlight. Typically, 10mm or more is a guideline length that allows for good protection and short enough to be low-maintenance.
For dog breeds with hair that needs to be long and not clipped such as German Shepherds, Huskies etc., regular grooming is required to ensure that their coat if free from mats and tangles. A sure way is to blow your dogs’ hair and see if you can see the skin – if not the will be a strong likelihood that your dog will overheat.
There are many products that are available on the market to help cool your dog such as the Cooling coat for dogs. This coat works by applying water to the outer surface of the coat which activates the lining to produce a cooling reaction that can be felt through the lining by the dog. These coats are fantastic for those dogs that are high energy and love to be outdoors. They are also great for travelling or to put on your dog after a walk and on the way home in the car.
There is also a cooling mat for dogs that is made from the same material and works like the coats mentioned above. Again, these are a must to have for cars owners in hot weather and for the home. It’s cleaner than having wet towels lying around for the dogs – the old cheaper way for some of us.
When walking, please remember that the temperature close to the ground is hotter that what we feel! This is due to the heat coming off the ground especially in the afternoons when the ground has been warmed for most of the day. Also, rain will cause steam from the ground making it even hotter!
Water is a must even for short walks a dog can start to become hot within minutes! Products for carrying water are available and travelling bowls too.
Feeding can also increase your dogs’ temperature – increasing the metabolic activity of digestion. More frequent snacking is better that a full meal reducing the chances of vomiting too. Easily digestible foods are great as well as smoothies. Typically, yoghurt and goats milk is a great medium to add other tasty ingredients.
Ice cubes and ice treats can easily be made the day before by freezing smoothies or broth (be careful to consider salt content) or even vegetables such as carrot sticks etc.
Our recommendations for keeping your dog cool.