Summer is upon us, which means there’s even more reason to be out in nature with your pup. Whether you’re fishing, training, camping, hunting, or hiking, we have a few tips to keep in mind when bringing along your four-legged friend. These simple suggestions will make sure you and your furry bud can have a great time all summer long.
Keep Cool Water Readily Available
Keeping hydrated in hot weather is important for all of us, but especially important for our canine partners. Dogs can only sweat through the pads of their feet, and that is an incredibly limited amount. This means, that unlike humans, dogs cannot regulate their body temperature through perspiration. Panting does help to cool your dog, but as you can imagine, this is not the most effective way to cool an entire dog.
Make sure that your dog has access to cool water at all times. This is most important if you are hitting the field for training, hiking or camping. Active dogs require more hydration than their counter parts that enjoy indoor air conditioning the majority of the day. When setting out, make sure you include your pup when planning your water supply, as well as a bowl so your dog can drink. We also recommend trying our Canine Athlete® C9 Hydration if you are going to be participating in outdoor activities. Not only do most dogs drink more water when using our hydration formula, it also provides valuable vitamins and minerals your dog loses during activity.
Provide Plentiful Shade
Not only will shade provide a cooler respite for your dog, it can also help prevent him/her from getting sunburn. Yes, dogs can sunburn, and shade is the most valuable tool to prevent this painful situation. You might consider trying to apply the SPF 50 to your dog, but even if you can get past the mess of rubbing lotion through a whole mess of hair, most will probably be soaked up in your dog’s coat, leaving his skin unprotected. When choosing a camping ground, training area or hiking trail, seek out areas that provide the most shade. When camping, try to give you pup sometime in the tent as this will provide further protection from the sun and heat.
Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
The goal is always to prevent your dog from getting heat stroke, but knowing the signs of heat stroke can mean the difference between life and death for your pooch. Keep a close eye on your dog for the following signs of heat stroke:
- Vigorous panting
- Dark red gums or thick mucus on gums
- Unwilling or unable to get up
If you notice these signs in your dog, immediately move them to a cooler area. Get your dog water at room temperature as quickly as possible. Avoid ice water or extremely cold water as this may throw your pup’s system into shock, causing blood vessels to constrict and preventing cooling effects from flowing throughout your dog’s body. Call your vet right away. Even if symptoms improve, your vet will want to see your pup to make sure there is no internal damage.
These little tips will help you and your dog get the most out of the outdoors this summer.