Sun's Out, Tongues Out!
As summer's warmth lures us outside, we naturally want to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors with our furry friends. However, as temperatures rise, so does the risk to our dogs' health. Dehydration can quickly escalate into heatstroke or even organ damage in dogs, serious concerns that could overshadow the sunny season. But don't worry! By following a few simple steps, both you and your canine companion can stay well-hydrated and blissfully comfortable throughout the sun-drenched months.
Cool Treats and Shaded Spots for Pets
Pets, like humans, have high water content in their bodies — about 20% more than we do. That means they need to drink plenty of water regularly. To help your dog stay hydrated, ensure fresh water is always available both inside and outside your home. You can also create cool, shaded areas in your yard or fill a small pool with cold water for your dog to relax and escape the heat. After your dog cools off in the water, brushing them will remove extra fur and prevent tangles that can trap heat.
Help your pets cool down internally by offering them frozen treats like yogurt or goat milk ice cubes with berry puree and frozen bone broth popsicles. You can also give them water-rich foods such as cantaloupe or watermelon. These treats not only keep them hydrated but also serve as nutritious and tasty snacks. Another simple method to boost their hydration is by adding bone broth to their meals. For more recipe ideas, refer to our 'Healthy Frozen Treats' blog post!
On-the-Go Heat Protection
In addition to providing your dog plenty of water, keep them cool by walking in shaded, grassy areas. Hot asphalt can burn their paws and cause them to overheat quickly. Protect their paws by sticking to cooler surfaces or consider using dog booties during hot walks.
Exercising in the Heat
Plan your dog's exercise routine during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Avoid exercising during peak heat hours and adjust the intensity and duration of exercise based on your dog's breed, age, and overall health. When heading out, bring enough water for both you and your dog. Products like the Messy Mutts Travel Water Bottle, which has a wide, built-in drinking bowl, can be helpful. If it's too hot for outdoor exercise, play a fun scent game by hiding homemade frozen treats in your yard for your dog to find before they melt completely!
Recognizing Symptoms Quickly
It's crucial to recognize signs of heatstroke and dehydration in your dog. These can include sunken eyes, dry gums, excessive panting, extreme thirst, and lethargy. In cases of heatstroke, you might notice a bright red tongue and gums or loss of consciousness. If you see any of these signs, seek immediate medical attention for your dog. Refrain from giving frozen treats in this situation, as it could shock their system.
Keeping your pet hydrated during summer is vital for their health and safety. It requires planning and consistent attention. Regularly refill their water bowls, create cool areas in your home and yard, and keep a stock of cool treats on hand. If you're unsure about keeping your pet cool during outings, it may be safer to leave them at home. Following these simple steps can ensure your pet stays safe this summer!