Summer should mean having fun in the sun with your little dog, but along with the hottest season of the year also comes concern for keeping your furry pets cool and comfortable.
If your puppy loves to run around your back yard, be sure there are plenty of shady areas for them. If you need more shade than you have, it's as simple as going to a local nursery and purchasing a tall tree or two, or putting up a portable awning of some kind. Keep a big dog dish of fresh water outside at all times, and monitor it frequently to see if it needs refilling with cool water. Always be outside to supervise, and continuously check to see that your little dog isn't getting overheated. Signs of heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, unsteadiness, and a dark red or purple tongue. If your dog does become overheated, their body temperature needs to immediately be lowered. Apply cool (not freezing) towels over their body and head, and add several ice cubes to the dog water bowl encouraging them to drink. If you suspect heat stroke, a visit to the vets' office is also highly recommended.
On extra hot days, dog-walks should be left to the early morning hours or the evening when the asphalt is cooler and the sun is weaker. And remember that water bottle and travel bowl!
Once back inside, have a dog bowl of fresh water waiting. Your puppy will instinctively be seeking out a cool area to curl up in, so don't be surprised if they decide to lounge on the tile or wood floor instead of the rug or cozy bed. Another great option for your small dog is our new Hawaiian Sun Cooling Mat which actually maintains a temperature of 65 degrees and can even be brought outdoors, or placed inside your dog carrier or pet car seat.
Pet travel is usually a fun time to bond with your puppies, however a car ride in the summer heat may not be a good idea for your pooch. The inside of your car can reach 120 degrees within just a few minutes, even with the windows cracked, so never ever leave ANY dog in the car for even a minute unattended, for any reason. If you must go for a car ride together, turn the A/C up, and keep your trip short.
Have a happy, enjoyable, cool summer with your little "haute" dogs!
- S. Athanasiou