Dogs are our best friends. They love us unconditionally, make us happy every day, and give us unconditional love. Even with all the benefits that dogs bring to our lives, owning a dog is not always easy. Dogs can be messy and require a lot of attention and care, especially when it comes to grooming and taking care of their health.
Keeping dogs cool in the summer is also essential because they have shorter hair than most animals — making them prone to overheating easily. With that in mind, this article will explore the dangers of protecting our dogs in the sun, as well as tips on how to look after them effectively during the summer months.
What Are The Dangers For Dogs During The Summer?
Dogs are very susceptible to sunburn. When dogs are in the sun, their bodies naturally produce more melanin — a pigment that gives our skin its color. Unfortunately, dogs have much less melanin in their skin than we have in ours.
This means that their skin is much more susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation. And that’s not the only danger that comes with protecting our dogs in the sun. Dogs can get heat stroke when the weather is hot and humid.
And because they don’t sweat like we do, their only way of releasing the build-up of heat inside their bodies is by panting. When dogs pant, they’re simply taking in air with more water in it.
The water in their bodies evaporates and cools their blood — which is how humans sweat. When dogs don’t pant enough, they can become overheated. If they are not cooled down, they could suffer from heat stroke and could even die.
How Can We Look After Our Dogs During The Summer?
The most important thing to keep in mind when looking after dogs during the summer is to always keep them out of the midday sun. Try to avoid going on walks or running with your dog during the hours of 1 to 4 pm, and make sure to take them to a shadier route.
Dogs, like people, should be wearing a sunscreen during this time of the year. Make sure to apply sunscreen to their ears, belly, and back — these are the most exposed areas of your dog.
In order to keep your dog hydrated, you should always have fresh water available. You can find travel bottles, with a lanyard, so you can tie it to your wrist or neck, so you can take fresh water with you, on walks or runs with dogs.
Rule #1: Keep Them out of the midday sun
Dogs are most likely to get sunburnt on the top of their fluffy heads — they don’t have much hair covering their skin. You can use a hat or a bandana to protect their skin.
If your dog has very short fur, make sure to use sunscreen when in direct sunlight — preferably a sunscreen designed for dogs. You can apply sunscreen to their ears, back, belly, and legs so that they are protected from sunburn.
Rule #2: Always have fresh water available
Remember to always have fresh water available. You can use a dog water bowl with a filter to reduce the amount of bacteria in the water. Remember to check the water every day to make sure it’s not stagnant and that it doesn’t have any weird smells or tastes.
Water is not only important for hydration, but it can also help increase your dog’s metabolism — which is really important when it comes to shedding their fur at this time of the year.
Rule #3: Don’t forget the sunscreen
As mentioned above, dogs need sunscreen to protect them from harmful UV rays. Make sure to apply dog sunscreen to areas that are exposed to the sun such as their ears, back, belly, and legs.
If you’re going on a walk and plan on being in the sun, make sure to apply sunscreen to your dog at least 15 minutes before going outside. This will allow enough time for it to be absorbed and provide protection against UV radiation.
You should also make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Pets can get sunburnt just like humans can — and they don’t realize they need to put sunscreen on every two hours like we do.
Rule #4: Don’t leave them alone in a Car On A Hot Day
Vehicles can be very dangerous for dogs during the summer, and not just on super hot days. Whenever the temperatures are mid to high outside, that temperature dramatically increases inside your car.
Meaning, your car can become a hot furnace very quickly. Leaving a crack in the window isn’t enough. You need to ensure your dog (or any animal) is in the shade, has air conditioning on, and access to water.
Rule #5: Never leave them Outside Without shade
As mentioned above, you should not leave your dog alone in any condition. This is especially important during the summer because of the risk of overheating. If your dog has short fur, and you leave them outside, they can easily develop heatstroke without you even realizing it.
If you have a long-haired dog, you can protect them from overheating by keeping them indoors during the summer. Long-haired dogs prefer cooler temperatures — and humidity can make them even more uncomfortable.
If you have a short-haired dog, you can keep them cool by using a fan to circulate the air around them. As well as placing water-filled pads around them (such as on their bed and nearby floor). This can help reduce their body temperature and prevent them from overheating.