How To Protect Your Dogs From Summer Heat – 4 Tips

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Want to learn how to care for your dogs in the hot summer weather? Here are five tips based on my experiences with my poodles.

My poor dogs. The heat really affects a couple of them. Stella, for instance, will begin reverse sneezing, stops eating and becomes lethargic when the heat and humidity starts to rise. We first noticed this pattern when reviewing our vet records because Stella was being tested for everything since she had a slow heart rate (74bpm). We were looking for any patterns to help explain her slow heart rate when we observed that every summer or every trip we took to the Carolinas ended up with a trip to the vet for Stella. Allergies? Oh no, not doggy allergies. Our vet suggested we put her on atarax. The atarax helps a lot.

But the heat is not just about allergies. It is about the overall well-being of our canine best friends. We all have read the headlines and seen the horror stories of what happens to pets when left alone in a car or outside with no water or shade. And we ask ourselves, how could that happen? Who would leave their dogs to such elements? We all need to exercise caution with our dogs during the summer.

1.  Are you still walking your dogs in this weather? Well the next time you venture out for a walk with Fido and the temps are above 90, bend over and touch the pavement. Hot, isn’t it? And then ask yourself “would I want to walk bare foot on this pavement?” Probably not and neither do your dogs. They can easily burn the bottom of their feet. Their pads can burn and blister quickly in the heat. If you feel like you must walk your dog, make sure to walk them in the grass and preferably in a shaded area. They will enjoy the walk and so will you.

2.  Another issue I have is the hair my poodles have. Having hair is wonderful. No shedding! But should I groom the hair short short when temps soar? Many different opinions exist and most are written by much more knowledgeable folks than me. Still it is confusing. Dogs with several layers of coat have their protection from heat and cold. But a trim is certainly not going to hurt them. It is when pet owners take their pals to the groomer and have them shaved. Please, don’t do this.

3.  Grooming is very important in this weather. We have the poodles groomed at least twice a summer to keep their hair short and close to their bodies. I can’t imagine having to wear their fur coat every day in this weather. But before you cut, trim or beautify your dog check and make sure the breed is acceptable for grooming. If your doggies are short haired and must be in the sun, make sure you use sun screen. Our doggies can burn and itch just like we do. And just as a cool shower will help us in this dastardly heat, a quick bath will also help your four legged friends.

4.  Oh and one parting thought: waterwater, and more water. Keep it fresh and available. Until next month, please take care of you and your canine buddies. Woof woof!

Jenet Mullins is a retired sales executive from the media industry. As a Poodle Parent she shares her experiences and true life situations as a rescue adopter. Follow her on Twitter.

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