Your Dogs Health 7 Easy Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

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Your Dogs Health 7 Easy Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

by Brock Lorber

As the days grow longer, your canine companion faces a new, potentially deadly challenge to her health: the heat. Luckily, with a little planning and a few simple changes in her environment, you can arm her for a summer of fun in the sun.

Cool, clean water.
Your dog uses water to maintain its body temperature. On hot days, she can quickly become dehydrated if she doesn?t have plenty of cool, clean water. She should have constant access to at least two water bowls - one inside and one outside.

Clean the bowls daily and refill them often with cool water. If your dog will be unattended during the day, you should strongly consider purchasing or constructing an automated waterer that will keep the water bowl filled at all times.

Traveling water.
Going to the park for a picnic or the beach for a fun day in the surf is a big part of your family?s summer. When packing the picnic basket, however, don?t forget to pack water and a bowl for your pooch. Don?t rely on potable water being handy at your destination; a locked hydrant or spigot could leave you high and dry. Remember, also, that dogs at the dog park treat water bowls as community property. Bring enough water to cover your dog as well as a few other dogs whose owners are not so prepared.

In the heat of the day, the sun can quickly become deadly. Your dog must have a broad selection of areas to lie down out of the sun, preferably on a mat, grass, or clean sand. Any dog run should be constructed with a large covered area designed to release the heat. A dog house is not sufficient shade; the structure will absorb the heat of the sun and trap it.

Dog runs or even smaller yards that are solidly enclosed on three or more sides do not make acceptable pens. A more open structure allows heat from the sun to dissipate, even on a calm day. If your yard is solidly enclosed or you live in an area with high ambient temperatures, an industrial fan coupled with a misting system can drop the temperature by 10 to 20 degrees.

Puppy pool.
Dogs love to swim. In the summer, they love getting out of the water even more. Any water trapped in their coat evaporates, taking excess body heat with it.

You can create a desert oasis for your pup with a child?s plastic pool, sized appropriately so your dog can climb in and out without trouble. Fill the pool with just enough water so they can lie down, covering their body but keeping their head high and dry. An inexpensive pond pump and filter can save a lot of water; while it doesn?t eliminate the need to periodically drain and clean the pool, it does greatly extend the period.

Just like a child, your dog needs close supervision around a deep, human pool. Many dogs drown each year trying to climb out over the high sides of a human pool.

Schedule change.
Playing and exercise are important for any dog. In the summer, though, change play time to early morning and late afternoon when the temperature is lower. Reserve the middle of the day for long naps in a shady spot with a cool breeze.

Many breeds develop heavy undercoats in the cool winter months. That layer of insulation both absorbs the heat of the sun and traps body heat. Frequent brushing or a trip to the groomer for a shave will do wonders for keeping your dog cool. Summer is a special time for the whole family. Following these easy steps will keep a fun summer from becoming deadly.

Brock Lorber -- investor, aviation coach, author, and dog lover -- provides helpful tips for the care,
You can subscribe to his newsletter at his website,

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