The following is a guest post from Ashley Spade. Ashley, in addition to being Sir Winston Pugsalot the First’s favorite human, is a blogger and law student. She volunteers at her local pug rescue in between studying and training for triathlons (sometimes at the same time).
Now that summer is here, I can’t wait to get outside! Once it stops raining, that is… Chicago has crazy weather in summer. It gets really hot, but the next day can call for a jacket. I am so excited that I am taking a trip to the lovely beaches of Marbella, Spain this summer! And, of course, Sir Winston Pugsalot gets to experience his second plane ride ever so that he can frolic on the beach as much as his pug heart desires. While I am visiting the tanning salon, learning to speak spanish, and shopping for cute sundresses to prepare for the trip, it also occurred to me that I need to prepare Sir WP as well.
Even if you are not going on an international beach adventure this summer, it is important to protect your pup from the heat. A dog pants as a personal cooling system, but even panting is not as effective as sweating as we humans do. Pugs are even more at risk than other canines, due to their shorter airway (those pug noses are so cute, but not always the best healthwise). Here are a few tips to keep your furry friend safe from the oppressive summer sun!
Get a kiddie pool so your dog to frolic in cool water. Most dogs hate bath time, but I have seen many a dog jump into a baby pool without hesitation. It will help them cool themselves down in a fun way! Make sure the water is not ice cold – the quick and drastic temperature difference is not good for your companion.
If your dog resists jumping into a pool, or if it just isn’t a practical idea, cool towels do the trick. When you see your dog laying down frequently and panting heavily, grab a few washcloths (or towels, depending on how big your dog is!), soak them in cool (again-not freezing cold) water, and place them on your dog. This will lower his or her body temperature in a safe way.
Exercise common sense. If you are sweating, your dog, who is under all that fur, is probably hotter than you. Do not walk your dog or take him or her outside if the temperature seems particularly warm or humid. Asphalt and concrete get really hot, and it could hurt their paw pads. If you do take your dog outside, always have fresh water readily available – they get thirsty too! There are even frozen treats available for dogs! Also – if your pup’s nose seems particularly dry, you can dab it with a bit of water.
Finally – take all safety procedures you can. Your dog is your best friend. If you take him or her swimming, look into getting a life vest. If you feel as if you must take him or her in the car (do NOT leave your dog in a locked car alone, under ANY circumstances), and you have a more bulgy-eyed breed (like pugs) look into getting him or her goggles or sunglasses. If your dog has particularly short or dark hair, look into getting doggie sunscreen (yes, they make it!) to protect your pup’s sensitive skin. If you take your dog into the ocean, make sure you have fresh water on hand – your dog will want to (and most likely will) drink the salt water, leaving him or her dehydrated.
Your dog is your favorite companion and your best friend – make sure you take care of them all through the summer! After all- your pup’s cuddles keep you warm in the winter, so it only makes sense that you keep your canine cool in the summer!