Summer can be quite a tough season for dogs, especially in a country like India where temperatures average around 32–40 °C in many regions. Beating the sweltering heat means air conditioning and tons of ice cream for you, but what does it mean for your pooch?
Your canine friend has only you to rely on to get through summer comfortably. This is why you must know that it is not just discomfort that dogs experience during hotter months. As ambient temperatures increase, dogs pant excessively to lower their body temperature and as a result, their energy requirement also increases. Therefore, dogs need additional energy in the hotter months to regulate their body temperature.
Heat affects dogs in several other ways too, the most common being dehydration, appetite loss, heat rashes and in severe cases, even heat strokes. But don’t worry just yet! Listed below are 5 tried and tested tips on how to keep your dog cool, calm and happy as temperatures begin to rise.
#1 Provide clean and fresh drinking water 24/7
Give your pooch access to fresh and clean drinking water every day, especially in the summers. Just like you, your pooch is bound to need more water because of the heat. When you take them out for long walks, carry a bottle of water and a bowl in case they get thirsty along the way. On an extremely hot day, you could also treat your pooch to an ice cube or two. But don’t forget to record them! Trust us, dogs have the funniest reactions to ice!
#2 Switch from dry kibble to wet gravy meals
Many pet parents find that their dogs eat less food in the summer. While it is common behaviour, it becomes a concern when this behaviour is noticed for a few days straight. In such a case, you can switch from dry kibble to gravy meals or use a mixture of both. Gravy meals like Pedigree Chicken and Liver Chunks in Gravy for adults and Chicken Chunks in Gravy for puppies adds both a delicious taste and irresistible texture to a regular meal which even the fussiest of dogs find pleasing. Moreover, wet gravy food is high on moisture content. Giving your dog wet food will help to support hydration levels which is especially beneficial for summertime.
#3 Trim don’t shave
While it is perfectly fine to get a summer-inspired buzz cut yourself, refrain from doing the same for your pooch. Your dog’s coat has insulating powers that can help keep them warm in the winter, but also restrict excess heat from getting to their body in the summer. So don’t shave your pooch, just give them a trim. But make sure to consult your veterinarian first!
#4 Summer-proof your dog’s environment
Make sure your furry friend has a shady spot in the house (or backyard) to rest and relax. Keep the most-visited room well ventilated. You need not keep the air conditioner on the whole time if the fan is on and the windows are open. Switch out their heavy and bulky bedding for something lighter. Dogs prefer laying on cool surfaces in the summer so try to get your hands on a cooling mat/blanket. Another important tip is to keep the toilet lid down at all times.
#5 Be careful on walks and drives
The hot summer sun tends to heat up pavements and footpaths which can be quite unbearable for your pooch’s delicate paw pads. You can avoid this by taking them for a walk early in the day or in the evening after the sun has set. You could also test the ground yourself with your foot to make sure it has cooled down. If you are taking your pooch out for a drive, do not leave them in the car alone even if you have parked in the shade and have rolled the windows down a little.
With these tips, your pooch is sure to breeze through the summer months feeling as cool as a cucumber. We wish you and your pet a safe and happy summer!
Note: In case you find your pooch salivating, panting heavily or foaming at the mouth, rush them to a cooler spot and allow them to sip on cold water. If you do not find any signs of improvement, rush them to your veterinarian immediately.