Just as the consistently hot and humid weather is disagreeable for us, for dogs, it can be agonizing and sometimes even fatal. With the heat wave expected to last at least another month across large parts of India, it is important for dog owners take extra measures to ensure their canines remain happy and comfortable in these sweltering temperatures.Here are a few simple tips to help your dog stay cool and safe in the hot weather:
1) Walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day
Avoid afternoons and peak temperatures and take them out in the early morning and late evening when it’s cooler outside. There is likely to be more shade then too and chances of the weather being windy are higher, which will protect your dog from direct sun exposure.
2) Add ice cubes to their dog bowl to keep the water cool
Ensuring your dog has access to fresh water is always essential, but when it’s this hot, it’s even more important, as is changing it more regularly than usual. Adding a few ice cubes to the water helps to keep it cool for longer, and ice cubes also make appetizing treats or pet-friendly ice lollies, which will boost hydration too. Keep one bowl outside in the shade and one inside to ensure there’s water available at all times.
3) Put out damp towels for your dog
Wet some towels and set them out in the shade for your dog to lie on. Dampened towels are a simple way to keep your dog cool and encourage your dog to rest rather than pace around in the heat. Alternatively, a frozen water bottle wrapped in a towel for your dog to lie beside works too.
4) Take care of your dog’s paws
Pavements can become so hot they can burn your pooch’s paw pads. As a thumb rule, if it’s too hot for you to touch for longer than five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog. Opt for shaded routes and exercise your dog on grass where possible.
5) Avoid the car when it’s hot
Even when parked in the shade with the car windows open, temperatures in cars can rise extremely quickly, which could cause your dog to dehydrate, develop heat stroke and could be fatal. If your dog must travel in the car, stop for regular water breaks to keep them hydrated and remember to never leave your pet alone in the car.
6) Made in the shade
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, ensure it has access to plenty of shade. But even in the shade, temperatures can soar (especially for dogs that were built for cold weather) so keep cold water available at all times and limit outdoor time if possible. If you have concerns about your heavy-coat dog overheating, contact your vet. Also talk to your vet before trying any new cooling techniques, including a haircut.
Dogs are by nature protective of their owners. Responsible owners must return the favor by protecting their pets from the dangers of excessive heat so they can safely enjoy the welcome warmth of the new outdoor season.