Summertime tips for keeping your canine cool

Keep your dog healthy and happy in the heat
In for a dip. Photo by John Fitts.

With temperatures hovering in the mid to upper 80s most days, it's been a hot Cape Cod summer so far.  When the temperature makes you hot and uncomfortable, it is doing the same to your dog. Make sure your favorite pet remains healthy and comfortable this summer.

If your dog is inside, make sure they are in a room with good air-flow. If they are outside, make sure there is ample shade so your dog can get out of the sun.  When walking your dog or engaging in outside activities, try to avoid the middle of the day, from 10am to 3pm or 4pm, when the temperature is high and the sun is at its hottest. Consider your route when walking your dog. Hot pavement may injure the pads on your dogs paws.  Avoid strenous activities like running and hiking.  Like humans dogs can become dehydrated and suffer from heat exhaustion, so fresh water and lots of it is very important.

A hot car is a hot oven

Dogs must NEVER be left in a hot car. The website offers important information about dogs and cars on hot days. For example, on a day where the outside temperature is 85 degrees, the temperature inside the car can rise to 110 degrees in only 10 minutes! Even a few minutes in a hot car can kill a dog.

Keep it shady

Like you, your dog can also get a sunburn, especially dogs with light colored coats and short fur. Some breeds, including Pit Bulls and Dalmatians are actually more susceptible to sunburns. If you have to be out in the hot sun, put sunscreen on your pooch--there are several different brands made just for dogs.

In for a dip

If your dog likes to swim, let him! Don't ever force a dog who seems to have no interest to swim. Some dogs are better swimmers than others and take to the water more naturally. If swimming in a pool, make sure your dog has a safe way to get out of the pool.  As with humans, a quick dip does wonders to cool your dog down on a hot day.

Ahoy, matey!

If you have a boat and you plan on taking your dog out on the water, make sure they have a properly fitting life jacket. In the event of an accident, even a dog that can swim will grow tired. 

Following these simple hot weather tips will keep your favorite canine happy and healthy this summer!  Find even more information on dog health at welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on