Tricks to Keep your Dog from Feeling Hot
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When the heat comes, it is very important to take certain precautions so that your dog stays cool and without any risk of suffering heatstroke or sunstroke. This is especially important for long-haired and dark-haired dogs, as they are more susceptible to suffering from these problems.
At AnimalWised we'll give you some advice on how to look after a dog when it is particularly hot. Don't forget that it's advisable to contact a specialist if you notice some symptoms of disease, such as diarrhea or a very high body heat. Read on and discover some tricks to keep your dog from feeling hot:
Tips to avoid the heat at home
1. It should always have lots of fresh water
Keeping your dog well hydrated is essential to prevent health problems associated with excessive heat. At home, your dog should always have a bowl with plenty of fresh water which you should refill daily. You should pay special attention to make sure that it is replenished and clean during the summer.
One possible trick to see if your dog is well hydrated is to softly pinch the back of its neck. The skin should go back to its original shape in seconds. In contrast, the skin of a dehydrated dog will not be very elastic.
Here you can find a homemade solution for severely dehydrated dogs, just in case.
2. Give it its food late at night
In order to facilitate and improve the digestive process, it will be convenient to get the dog used to eating at the end of the day, when the temperature is usually cooler. This will help its organism to digest food in a relaxed manner.
3. Give it more wet food to hydrate it
If you notice your dog isn't drinking much water, giving it wet food is an excellent way to keep it hydrated while enjoying a tasty meal. Make sure that this kind of food is of a high quality, and don't forget to give it a dental hygiene snack to prevent the accumulation of plaque.
4. Turn the fan on if you see it's too hot.
Just like people, dogs also cool down by using the fan! If the heat of the day is really suffocating, help it out by turning the fan on for a while to make it more bearable. Your dog will definitely appreciate it.
5. Monitor your dog's weight
Overweight or obese dogs have a lipid layer which excessively isolates them from the exterior, and causes them to feel hotter than other dogs. For this reason, the heat of summer tends to hit them hard.
While a balanced diet and regular exercise will help your dog return to its normal weight, remember that weight loss should be a gradual process. Choose the coolest times of day to do exercise, such as dusk and dawn.
6. Never give it food before exercise
Digestion is a delicate process, which is why we emphasized its importance in the second point. You should know that if you feed the dog before exercise, it might suffer a stomach torsion. This condition is potentially fatal if not treated in time by experienced professionals.
Tips to avoid the heat when outside
7. Shade is a great ally
Whenever your dog is out and about with you, it would be a good idea to look for shaded areas where it can seek refuge. When you go to a dog-friendly beach, for example, it is crucial to bring an umbrella.
8. Always have water at hand
Just like at home, your best friend will also need fresh water when out and about. You can take a a bottle and an empty tupperware box with you to use as a bowl, and even a spray bottle to occasionally give its mouth a refreshing spray.
9. Never leave your dog alone in the car
In just 10 minutes the temperature of a car interior can rise from 23°C to 32°C, which can cause heatstroke. In 30 minutes it could be potentially fatal.
Dogs should never be locked in cars, period.
10. Avoid using a nylon muzzle
Nylon muzzles - or any muzzle that closes the dog's jaw - stop it from panting, which makes the thermoregulation of its body impossible. It's important to choose a basket-style muzzle, like the one in the image.
Remember that the best method to keep the dog from feeling the heat is to pay it regular attention, especially if you're outdoors. Learning about first aid is another very suitable option.
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