Dogs have a harder time in summer than humans
Why is that actually so? Unlike humans, dogs are not able to sweat: Sweat evaporates on the skin, effectively removing heat from the body. Man's best friends, on the other hand, lack the necessary sweat glands on their skin. Only in the areas of the tongue and pads do they have the ability to transpire. Only panting provides some additional relief. This difference between owner and animal brings with it the danger of rapid overheating in extremely oppressive, hot weather. A few valuable tips will help to counteract this and avoid heatstroke that may occur in unfortunate circumstances.
Don't leave your dog in the car!
Simple precautions can already make an important contribution. An absolute no-go in hot weather is to simply leave your dog in the car. Inside the car, the lack of ventilation quickly causes temperatures to rise rapidly - especially if the car is parked in the blazing sun. The walking route may also have room for improvement. Asphalt and pavement absorb heat easily and therefore feel uncomfortable for your four-legged friend. For this reason alone, you should switch to a shadier route. For example, wooded areas or parks are ideal. It is not a good idea to walk your dog during the midday sun; it is better to take smaller walks in the morning and evening hours.
Brush longhaired dogs more often
Long-haired dogs have an even harder time. However, you can help your pet with a simple tip: after brushing, the coat remains more airy overall, so it can be insulated against the heat relatively easily. In addition, the same applies in principle as for people who feel uncomfortable or strained: Allow the dog more rest than in cool weather, mostly the four-legged friends want to lie down more of their own accord. For this purpose, the clever animals will most likely no longer necessarily seek out their basket, instead they prefer the bare floor.
Cool down to avoid hot flushes
In many cases, you can do your dog a favour by carefully dousing him with water. Of course, be sure to use chilled liquid if possible. To increase the effectiveness of this measure, rub the water directly into the coat afterwards. Your dog may also react positively to atomisers, such as those used on plants. Alternatively, depending on the breed, simply give your dog a short summer haircut. Dogs with dark coats generally suffer more than those with light coats, so special care should be taken with the former group.
If you think your dog is sensitive, you should first give him a chance to get used to the cold shower. To do this, use only small amounts of water, then wet a small region of the body. However, some animals react to water so briskly and curiously that they do not even need this acclimatisation phase.
Adjusting the conditions in the home
A few changes in your own four walls can already have a strong positive effect. A cleverly positioned sunshade protects from direct sunlight and can be visited by your four-legged friend at will. In addition, setting up a shady spot with a cool surface, for example on the tiles, definitely makes sense. A wet cloth placed directly on the dog is also ideal for optimising the cooling possibilities. During hot weather, it is important not to overexert the dog. For this reason, it is better to give him smaller rations of food that are easier to digest. Keeping your dog hydrated is also a great way to ensure that he drinks enough and regularly.
Swimming in the lake: great way to cool off
If your walk takes you past a lake or if there are bathing facilities near you anyway, a dip in the cool water is an effective way to cool off. Go directly to the shore with your dog at a quiet spot by the river or lake. For cautious and inexperienced dogs, you should go into the water with them if possible, in order to inspire confidence in the previously unfamiliar terrain. Toys or treats can also be used to motivate your dog. Of course, it is difficult to make general statements here as well, since behaviour can vary considerably from breed to breed and animal to animal. Either way, it is advisable to bring along a good portion of patience.
9 tips for cooling down at a glance
- Swimming in a lake or pond: probably the most effective way to cool off directly.
- Very important: protection from direct sunlight
- Take care of your physical well-being: enough water, small portions of food
- Walk at the right time of day: in the morning and evening rather than in the blazing sun
- Get out of the way: choose shady routes and parks for your rounds
- Water: the garden hose or bucket of water also provides welcome cooling.
- Brush or trim: The coat should also be given special treatment
- No-go: Never leave your dog in the car.
- Let things take their course: Your dog needs more rest than usual now.