During the warmer months, most pups love running around outside in the summer sunshine — but how much heat is too much? Just like people, dogs can — and do — overheat when exposed to severe temperatures. North Carolina summers are notoriously hot and quickly rising temperatures can easily create an environment that’s dangerous for your outdoor pets. Extended time outside can lead to dehydration, discomfort, and, in critical situations, heatstroke, which, if left untreated, can be deadly.
So, how can you help your beloved pups beat the summer heat? Here are a few pointers that will help you keep your pets happy, healthy, and cool.
Keep an eye on the time
If your dog enjoys being outside, it’s okay to let them out to run around or to take them on a walk — even during the summer. Bigger dogs in particular need time outside, no matter what season it is. Exercise is vital for dogs just as it is for humans. However, in order to keep them safe, it’s your job to keep a record of how long your pets are outside for and when.
Try to take your dogs on walks in the early morning or in the evening. If you’re letting your dog out into a fenced yard, make sure to let them back into the air-conditioned house after they’ve gotten their needed dose of exercise. If it’s so hot outside that you’re uncomfortable after half an hour of being outside, your furry friend probably feels the same way.
Remember that elderly dogs, young puppies, and overweight dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. If your dog is in an at-risk category, make sure to severely limit their time outside during the summer months.
Summer means pool time
A great way to help your dog beat the summer heat is by setting up a puppy pool. Fill up a small, plastic pool with cold water, take a step back, and watch your pups have the time of their lives while also staying cool! If it’s an especially hot day, try tossing a few ice cubes in the pool.
If you have a full-sized pool, make sure to put a life vest on your dog if they’re uncomfortable in the water. Never leave a dog unsupervised in a pool.
Create some shade
If your dog enjoys lounging in the yard, make sure there’s some kind of shade for them to lay under. Large trees are great at creating shade but there are also other ways you can create a shady, breathable oasis for your pup. Try setting up a temporary tarp in the yard that still allows for airflow. As surprising as it sounds, things like wooden dog houses don’t actually offer much relief for dogs since they trap the hot air. Stay away from those and stick to shelter options that still allow your furry friend to feel the breeze.
Lots of water
In the summer heat, your dog is very susceptible to dehydration. Make sure to always keep a bowl full of cold water near your pup at all times. Put a few ice cubes in the bowl to make it extra cold. Keep a close eye on it and make sure to fill it up regularly.
Fans don’t do much
As strange as it sounds, fans can’t cool dogs as well as they do humans. We react to heat differently than dogs do (which is why we don’t pant when we get hot). Fans can offer some relief for pups but try not to rely on them as the main source of cooling.
Make sure your AC is up to par all summer long
The most effective way to keep a dog cool is by allowing them to relax in an air-conditioned space. Our furry friends love air conditioning in the summer just as much as we do. Make sure your home has good, reliable air-conditioning that can keep up with the hot, North Carolina summers. Help prevent an emergency by getting regular AC maintenance done.
If your air-conditioning does give out in the summer, don’t panic. The Comfort Hounds have got you and your pups covered! Our team of talented techs can do everything from AC repair and AC installation to heat pump repair and heat pump installation. We’ll do whatever we can to help keep your furry friends happy, healthy, and cool!