I will never complain about the heat since I live in Michigan and neither will our dogs. In fact our dogs don’t complain about much of anything. Maybe the delivery guy or car pulling into the driveway, but they are alerting rather than complaining. I think my dogs actually enjoy having a job, protector of the Adams residence. My dog Titus will bring the ball to me to throw in 90 degree weather. Dog’s cannot reason and come to the conclusion about running and hyperthermia. I will throw the ball a few times but then we go into the air conditioning. Here are a few tips to help keep your dog cool on hot summer days and prevent hyperthermia.
When I was a police canine officer we trained at times when it was very warm. I arranged water apprehensions on very warm days and also had a garden hose available to cool down the dogs. We also gave them plenty of recovery time in the air conditioned cruiser. Dogs are not dumb they do seek out shade to avoid laying in the sun. You know your dog. If they start acting lethargic, it could mean they are over heating. Cool them down immediately. If they don’t recover take them to the veterinarian. Ice packs under their legs, get them out of the sun and soak them down with a garden hose.
At home and at our kennel we purchased kiddie pools for the dogs to lay in. Some dogs think it’s a giant water bowl but that’s okay they are getting hydrated. Some people give their dog’s ice cubes, another good way to cool your dog from the inside out
Make your dog frozen yogurt treats by stuffing a Kong with plain yogurt and some dog treats. Once you fill the Kong toss it in the freezer until frozen. It’s yummy and refreshing.
When training or exercising your dog do it in the morning or evening when the temperature is not so hot. Lakes and pools are a great way to exercise your dog and help them stay cool. My dog Bracha will just walk out and stand chest deep in the lake to enjoy the cool water surrounding her.
If you have outdoor dogs you should bring them inside when it gets over 90 degrees. For the hunting and working dogs that live outdoors, set up your kennel so it’s in the shade. Insulation does wonders keeping your coop cool. I once had a pole barn which sat out in the sun but was insulated. I was amazed how cool it stayed in the summer. I did have a window air conditioner but rarely needed it. A well-insulated kennel goes a long way. Many of my police dogs lived in outdoor kennels. When the humidity was really high and temperature was over 90 I would bring them inside the house.
Dogs tend to get use to the temperature as well. They always need to adjust though. In Michigan when spring first arrives 70 seems hot for the dogs. They adapt to the warmer weather and then its 80 and so on. Dogs will stay outdoors and lay in the shade to stay cool. My dogs either like laying in the shade on the cool grass or perhaps choose concrete that maybe even cooler. In my home they like the tile floors.
Once it’s 70 degrees and above cars heat up very quickly. In only 10 minutes sunny and 70 degrees the interior of a car will rise to 89. When it’s 80 degrees in 10 minutes your car will be 99 degrees. I drive a Yukon and my dogs travel in crates in the back. In the summer when my dogs are with me I will park in the shade and open the hatch. I also leave the windows cracked the sun roof open to allow air flow. If there is no shade I leave the car running with the air on. Every vehicle comes with a remote these days. I lock my car and leave it running with the air conditioning on. If you travel a lot with your dog invest in a heat alarm system. Heat alarms alert you when your car is hot and automatically rolls down the windows. The heat alarm can save your dog’s life and typically cost about $700 plus installation.
Don’t let the heat get you down. You can still have fun, go on hikes, play with your dog just make sure to cool them down and keep them hydrated. Woo Woo! Its summer time!