We are currently in a stage 3 drought here in B.C.!
With that in mind I thought I would give you some tips on how to handle this hot dry weather with your furry buddy!
- change the time of day you exercise your dog. the hottest time of day is from around noon till about 5 pm,so aim to take your dog out for the majority of their strenuous exercise early in the morning or late at night.
- stay in the shade! you might love the direct sunlight,but your dog likely does not. unless you see them seeking out sunny spots and sunbathing like a kitty cat,help them out by setting them up in a shady spot or walking on the shady side of the street.
- be mindful of their feet. your dog is running around barefoot. try putting your own hand down on the sidewalk,or black top and holding it there. it gets toasty doesn’t it? it’s toasty for Fido too! if you stop to talk or use your phone etc.,try to make sure your pup is in the shade or on the grass while he waits for you. or at the very least,if it’s the least you can do,don’t worry about asking Fido to sit if they prefer not to,it might be too warm for their bum!
- Spend time at naturally occurring water sources. Since we can’t endlessly fill kiddy pools and leave the sprinkler on anymore,if your pup likes to run around in the water,make it a point to hit up parks that have water features like rivers,streams,lakes and oceans! not only will it be a way around the water restrictions,its naturally cooler by the water as well.
- have some chill devices handy. if you can’t buy one of those cool soaker bandanas or cool coat jackets ,try a wet towel! you can soak a towel and wrap it around your pal or lay it on the kitchen floor as a cool place for him to rest. dogs naturally seek to cool off their undersides as it is,as those areas work similar to their tongues. this is why some dogs dig a little pit in the ground to rest in,as that’s where the cool damp earth is.
- Refrigerate his dinner. even if you feed canned food or kibble,serving it chilled from the fridge(unless he’s particularly finicky) can give some added relief. you can also create freezer dog treats. freeze morsels into ice cubes for your dog to keep busy with,or put damp kibble into a Kong toy and freeze that for chill fun while you are away at work.
- Be sure you give your dog rest time. by this i mean be extra careful that you ensure he won’t over heat during strenuous activities. give him breaks between fetching bouts,even if he is raring to go,make him wait a bit as some pups have more drive to play that may over ride their bodies self regulate messages. During jogging and biking outings make sure your dog can pant. if you are going to fast for him to run with his tongue hanging out,then your dog can easily overheat.
- make sure your dogs fur is thoroughly brushed. this may seem weird but your dogs coat helps cool him down by allowing cool air to pass between its layers and deflecting sun and hot air away from the skin’s surface. Making sure his coat is properly groomed and free of matts and old winter undercoat hair will go a long way to ensuring he can self regulate on a hot day.
- If you need to take the car to do an errand:LEAVE YOUR PUP AT HOME! you might think its great to take Fido with you to hang out rather than stay home ‘bored’,but if this means he’s left in a car for more than 10 minutes,then don’t even bother! Even with windows cracked and parked in the shade,cars get stuffy with no breeze,especially in the muggy B.C. heatwaves we have been experiencing. That shady spot you found at 10:15am will likely be a scorching hot spot just 15 minutes later as the sun moves along the sky.(or the planet rotates.your choice) The temperatures inside cars easily get twice as hot as outside the very same car and even with clouds,an overcast super hot day can deceivingly be just as hot as a blue sky day.