Category Archives: hot weather tips

7 Tips for Exercising Your Dog in Hot Weather

dog exercise majaBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs need exercise even in the hot weather, but there are ways to do it that keep their comfort and safety in mind. Like us, dogs are affected by the extremes of weather. To prevent heat exhaustion and burned feet, follow these 7 tips for giving your dog exercise in hot weather.

Time of Day

Extreme heat is draining and physically stressful for most humans, and for our dogs too. Even if the heat is not bothersome to you, keep in mind that to cool off naturally, your dog does not sweat over their whole body the way you do.  Extreme temperatures are harder for them to deal with. Minimize exercise and activity in the hottest parts of the day. Walks and outside play are better in the early morning, late afternoon or evening, not in the middle of the hot day. Even if that midday lunch break is a great time and perfectly tolerable for you to go for a jog, it may not be for your dog. Do something different and go for a nighttime walk after dark on occasion, if you live in a safe area. You both might enjoy the change.

Cool Exercise Alternatives

Play in the water to give both you and your dog exercise and keep them cooler at the same time. Go for a swim, run through the sprinkler or go to the beach to keep active and cool at the same time. If you have the space, buy a small kiddie pool just for your dog to cool off. Put it somewhere in the yard where your dog can have access to it. Keep a big beach towel nearby to prevent your dog from running into the house soaking wet after playtime.

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Should I Shave My Dog’s Fur in Hot Weather?

By Laurie Darroch

As the weather changes from cold to hot, you may feel that your dog would stay cooler if you cut his fur. However, before you do that, you need to think about what type of dog you have and what the layers of fur actually do for a dog, particularly if they are a double coated breed.

Look into the type of coat your particular dog has. Not all coats are the same, and what may seem cooler to you may not actually be helping your dog. In many cases, it’s better to opt for daily grooming and maintenance instead of shaving off your dog’s protective fur. You may be doing more damage than good by removing natural covering.

Types of Dog Hair

Some dogs have what is called a double coat. It is actually two layers of hair that are meant to protect the dog from the elements, including heat. The undercoat is thicker and softer than the overcoat. The double layers actually trap cooler air in against the dog’s body. It is built-in insulation. Huskies and German Shepherds are two types of dogs with double coats. It may look hot to you and be work to take care of their coat, but you may be doing them a disservice by shaving them if it is not absolutely necessary because of extreme coat damage.

Other dog breeds have single coats, such as the Doberman Pinscher or the French Bulldog. Some dogs are non-shedders or low shedders, such as the Poodle, Kerry Blue Terrier or Lakeland Terrier, but some non-shedders or low shedders can be double coated as well. The point is to know and understand your particular dog’s breed and coat type before you make any decisions regarding shaving or clipping for hot weather.

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Tips to Help Your Dog Stay Cool in Hot Weather

keep cool OakleyBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs do not sweat the way humans do. They sweat through the pads of their feet and cool off by inhaling and exhaling air while panting to keep internal heat down.  Because their body cooling systems are less efficient, it is important to be aware of where your dog is on very hot days and to help your dog deal with the extreme temperatures.

Exercise Times

You may be able to handle a run in the middle of the day in the blazing sun with no problem, but your dog cannot cool off as easily as you can. With limited sweat glands, high energy exercise in the hottest part of the day can be stressful and dangerous for your dog, even if they seem eager to join in the activities. Walk or run in the morning or evening instead of during the highest temperatures of the day.

If you are away from home and out in the hottest weather with your dog, be sure to bring a container of water for your dog. Allow your dog a rest period and find shaded areas to help your dog cool down.

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How to Keep Pets Cool Without Air Conditioning

By Linda Cole

Air conditioning is a blessing and a curse during the dog days of summer. It seems like they break down on the hottest days. And not every pet is lucky enough to live in an air conditioned home. As responsible pet owners, we need to be mindful of how higher temperatures affect our pets, and when the air goes silent or you don’t have air conditioning, we still need to provide relief for our pets. So how can we keep our pets cool without air conditioning? Read on.

Since we don’t wear fur coats like our pets do, it’s essential to pay close attention to them when hot weather rolls in. Make sure outside pets have access to adequate shade and fresh water. Shaded areas change as the sun makes its daily run across the sky. To help keep your pet cool, pay attention to areas in your yard that have the most shade for the entire day.

Make sure water containers are placed where your pet can’t tip them over. Spill proof bowls can help but aren’t always foolproof. The best solution is a specially designed water bowl that’s made to connect directly to a garden hose. A pressure valve controls the amount of water in the bowl. When it gets below a certain level, the valve opens allowing water to refill the bowl. This way, your dog has access to fresh water that’s cooler than water in a bowl heated by the sun.

Dogs have their own natural cooling system. Panting helps them cool down, but when the weather heats up, they need help to stay cool. Even cats will pant on an especially hot day. You know it’s hot if your cat is panting. Outside cats can usually find a cool spot out of the heat, but it’s important to know where your kitty is so you can keep an eye on them.

A child’s wading poolis a great way for an outside dog to find some cool relief from the heat. Make sure the pool is in the shade, and only put enough water in to wet the underside of the dog unless you’re able to supervise. And never allow your pet to swim in a swimming pool unsupervised.

Fresh water is essential. Keeping an inside pet cool without air conditioning isn’t that difficult. Make sure to keep water bowls filled with fresh, clean water. It’s important for pets to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Cats are more apt to drink fresh water over day old water that’s been sitting around. You can add ice cubes to the water as the temperature climbs. Ice cubes seem to be interesting to cats, and they’ll check out their water to investigate those strange things floating in it.

Use fans. I like using pedestal fans because they’re up away from the pets, and you can set them to oscillate which helps distribute air around an entire room. I also use two of the wind machine fans that sit on the floor. Both the dogs and cats camp out in front of them when it’s really hot. You can also put ice cubes or a block of ice in a big bowl in front of a fan. This helps cool the air as the fan melts the ice. Window fans set so they are blowing out can help circulate air throughout a house. Close all of the windows except for one or two. The window fan will pull air back into the house through the opened windows.

Spray them down. You can help keep pets cool by spraying their paws, legs and around their neck with water. You can also take an ice cube wrapped in a paper towel and rub it along their neck, down their back, legs and over their paws. Cats appreciate this as much as dogs.

Keep curtains and window shades closed during the hottest part of the day. One of the best ways to keep pets cool without air conditioning is by keeping the hot sun out of the house to begin with.

Reconsider the crate. It’s difficult to keep a pet cool without air conditioning when they’re enclosed in a crate. If you have to keep your dog confined, you’ll need to make sure the crate is large enough for him to comfortably move around in without spilling his water. He’ll need his own fan as well. A better solution is to find an area in the home where he doesn’t have to be confined. You could also check to see if there are doggie daycares in your area, or someone who could pet sit while you’re away.

Keeping your pet cool in the summer heat is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Know your pet and how well they deal with heat. Some pets do better than others. Heat stroke is a possibility if they get too hot. Most pets do just fine in hot weather as long as they have plenty of water, shade and air movement, especially inside pets. Just remember – if you’re hot, so are your pets.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Hot Weather Tips for Pet Owners

By Lexiann Grant

With hot weather in full swing, here are some tips to help your pet get through the summer.

Never leave your pet shut in an automobile during hot weather. Temperatures rise quickly in closed vehicles and your dog can suffer heatstroke and die.

Don’t leave your pet outside without access to a cool, shady area. Dog houses should be placed in the shade as temperatures inside these shelters rise higher than outdoor air if they receive direct sunlight most of the day.

Indoor pets who are not allowed in all areas of your house should have access to cooler rooms such as basements, baths or kitchens with tile floors. Avoid keeping your dog or cat in the garage, utility or laundry areas – rooms which are usually very warm. If your pet stays in a cooler room, they’ll be more comfortable should the air conditioning in your home fail.

Bring outdoor pets inside during extreme heat waves. For homes without air conditioning, try dumping ice in a tub, then place a fan where it blows air directly across the ice and towards one of your pet’s nap areas.

If a shelter isn’t safe for you during stormy summer weather, then it’s not safe for your pet either. Secure kennels and dog houses out of the way of falling limbs and where they are protected from high winds, lightning and hail.

Should the necessity arise to leave your home due to severe conditions such as floods or tornadoes, take your pet with you. Do not leave them to fend for themselves and possibly become lost or die. To ensure their safe return home if you are separated during a weather disaster, keep a current name and phone number identification tag on your pet’s collar.

Whether indoors or out, make certain that your pet has plenty of fresh water. High temperatures and changes in humidity increase your animal’s need for water. Fill large, spill-proof containers with chilled water. Place bowls where the sun won’t shine directly on them.

You may want to feed a lighter diet in summer. Some animals are more lethargic in hotter weather. Check with your vet for a recommendation.

All dogs, and even cats restricted to the indoors, are susceptible to insect bites and parasite infestations during warmer months. Use appropriate products to kill or prevent fleas, ticks and helminths. Ask your veterinarian which products are best for your pet. Outings during the summer can also be insect free if you apply a pet-safe insect repellant. Don’t use products designed for humans.

Exercise your dog with caution during hot or humid weather, particularly if he has a health problem like heart disease. When walking in unshaded areas, shield your dog’s body with your own, thereby creating a little shade for your pet.

Remember that your dog is “barefooted.” Prevent burned pads – don’t walk your dog on hot surfaces such as blacktop or concrete. Avoid taking your dog for walks in mid-afternoon when temperatures are highest; try early morning or evening walks instead.

Dogs that swim alone can drown as easily as people. If you have a pool, provide steps where your pet can exit easily. When swimming in a lake or river keep your dog safe from undercurrents or unseen hazards beneath the surface.

Don’t clip or shave your pet’s fur unless your vet or groomer recommends it, since a pet’s fur acts as insulation. Hairless breeds may need sunscreens when they’re outdoors to prevent burning.

Dogs and cats can’t handle high temperatures as well as humans. Pets with heavier fur or brachycephalic noses, like Pugs or Persians, are at risk for over-heating more quickly, but all pets can be the victims of heat prostration (or exhaustion), and heat or sun stroke. Know the warning signs and how to treat the condition.

Symptoms include: panting, rapid or labored breathing; tongue and mouth membranes turn bright red; confusion, disorientation; body temperatures of 104 degrees or higher; weakness; vomiting, sometimes with diarrhea; and, unconsciousness or coma.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Treat immediately by wetting your pet’s fur thoroughly or wrapping your pet in a cool, wet towel. After your pet begins to cool, allow them small licks of water from melting ice cubes. Get your pet to a veterinarian immediately for additional treatment.
Have a safe summer, and may you and your pet stay cool.

Read more articles by Lexiann Grant

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.