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Cornelius News

How to keep your dog cool this summer

Give your dog a shady spot to hang out on hot days or keep him inside where there’s air-conditioning. Walk your dog or enjoy the outside in the cooler mornings or evenings.

By the American Kennel Club

June 21. Summer is the time to have outdoor fun with our dogs.

Longer walks in the park, ambitious hikes, beach days or family travel — the sun is shining, and the outdoors is calling.

But hot weather can also make us uncomfortable, and it poses special risks for dogs. From an increased exposure to ticks and other insects, to sunburn, and even heatstroke, all sorts of things can go wrong for your dog in summer.

Keep the following safety concerns in mind as the temperature rises, and follow our tips for summer safety for dogs. They will help you keep your pet happier and healthier during the dog days of summer.

Help your dog beat the heat

  • Give your dog a shady spot to hang out on hot days or keep him inside where there’s air-conditioning. Dog houses are not good shelter in the summer because they can trap heat.
  • Fill a child-size wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.  You can replace the water in the puppy pool with ice, too.
  • Place a fan outside the kennel for them to lie in front of or give them a dirt area to dig down into the earth and create a cool den.
  • Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes.
  • Provide plenty of cool, fresh water.
  • Avoid exercising your dog strenuously on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to hot asphalt or sand for any prolonged period; it can burn his paws.
  • Be mindful of your dog’s breed. Dogs that are brachycephalic (have a short head and snout), such as BulldogsBoxersJapanese Chin, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-nosed dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning.

Don’t shave your dog; grooming OK

Most people think that by shaving off the coat they are doing the dog a favor.

The coat on a dog acts as insulation from both hot and cold air temperatures. The coat traps the air close to the body which is the same temperature as their body.

When a dog is hot, it not only pants to regulate its body temperature (since dogs don’t sweat through their skin like humans) but their coat traps the air closest to the skin and keeps it the same temperature as their ideal body temperature.

Keeping their coats well groomed helps the coat do its job better. Matted, wet or shaved hair can’t trap the body temperature air close to the skin to keep the dog comfortable in all climates.

And, if you shave a dog down to the skin you not only increase the risk of heatstroke but sunburn.

Breeds that are normally clipped year-round can continue the practice but don’t turn your fluffy into a smoothie anytime soon. And for those hairless breeds, don’t forget the sunscreen.

For more tips on dog care, visit akc.org.

Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chin, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-nosed dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning.

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