The dog days of summer are upon us and the changing season often puts extra stress on our pet friends. Can’t stand the heat? Neither can your pet. That’s why Iams is unleashing five helpful tips to ensure all members of your fur family are kept happy, healthy and safe this summer. These tips and others can be found at CFHS, OSPCA and iams.ca.
1. Keep an eye on the H20 – Did you know that water may be the most important step in keeping your dog healthy? Just like us, a dog’s body is 80 per cent water but dogs don’t appear to be losing hydration because they do not sweat like we do. Make sure there is a source of water your dog can access at all times (no, the toilet bowl is not a water dish!) to avoid dehydration, overheating and to maintain proper bodily functions.
2. Act as a lifeguard – Swimming in the pool or a lake can be a great way for pets and people to play together and cool off. While Fido practices doggy-paddling, do not leave your pet unattended; just as safety precautions must be taken when children are near water, similar rules exist for pets. If your dog has difficulties swimming, consider lessons or a cute doggy life jacket.
3. Keep coats long – Believe it or not, a pet’s coat is designed by nature to keep them cool during the summer. Shaving pets can actually do them more harm than good by interfering with this built-in temperature regulation and predisposing them to things like heat stroke/exhaustion and sun burn. Rather than shaving, consider a trim or brushing regularly to help air circulate near the skin.
4. Protect little paws – When it’s scorching hot outside, dangerously steamy pavement and metal surfaces are hard to avoid, especially for our four-legged friends. Just as we remember to wear sandals, it’s important to remember our pet’s feet and foot pads. To be mindful of scorching surfaces, walk your dog on the cloud-covered side of the street or in a grass-filled park. If these are not an option, laying down a wet towel for your dog to stand on.
5. Be careful with cars – Due to sky-rocketing temperatures in the summertime, the sun can make the inside of a car unbearable. Even with the windows cracked, cars can reach 130 degrees inside in less than 30 minutes. If your pet is used to running errands with you in the car, leave Fluffy and Rufus at home if you can or bring them along on a cooler day.