As the sweltering summer heat continues to beat down on most of the country, many dog owners struggle to find ways to keep their dogs outside without worrying about them overheating. If you’re like me, you’ve seen plenty of instances where people walk their dogs happily in one direction, but then have to carry their poor, dehydrated pooch the other way so they don’t completely burn out.
Now before I get into the tips to keep your pooch hydrated, I need to discuss the source of all this great information. My younger sister, Morgan, and her best bud, Moose, a sweet German Shepherd mix, have been together for several years. Moose has had several health problems, which has by default made Morgan a quasi expert on several holistic dog health remedies.
1. Pumpkin Puree to Keep Hydrated
When dogs get hot, a lot of changes can happen within their bodies. One of the more obvious changes is that they lose water faster than normal. An additional issue that sometimes happens, is digestion issues that lead to diarrhea.
As gross as it may be, it’s certainly nothing you should leave unaddressed. Luckily, adding pumpkin puree to your dog’s diet actually helps with both of these! Not only do pumpkins have a naturally high concentration of water to aid in hydration, they also contain a lot of soluble fiber that helps promote healthy digestion. The AKC recommends 1-4 tablespoons depending on the size of your dog
2. Help Protect Their Paws
The first thing your dog will notice when he or she walks outside is the hot asphalt or concrete that has been baking in the sun. The air near the ground around black asphalt can be over 20 degrees warmer than what the thermometer reads!
If you notice that your dog is sprinting for the cooler grass to keep from frying their paws, there are a couple of measures that you can take to help keep their paws cool.
Using some dog paw balm can go a long way towards keeping your dog protected, and it can also heal any damage that he or she may have endured while outside.
Although many people think of this as more of a winter solution, there is certainly no reason why this should be dismissed in the summer.
3. Let Your Dog’s Fur Shed On Its Own
Oftentimes, dog owners believe that giving their dog a “summer haircut” will help keep them cool. Perhaps surprisingly, this is not a recommended strategy for two main reasons.
First, your dog will naturally shed a large amount of its fur during the summer, and some of these layers of fur are necessary to keep its fair skin protected from the sun’s UV rays.
Secondly, many people without proper training can shave too far down and cut their dog. Overall, it just makes more sense to let nature handle this one the way it has for many years. And at the very least, have a professional groom your dog so that you can rest assured that it was done properly.
Hopefully, with these three tips in mind, you and your beloved pooch can have your best summer yet! For any further tips and tricks, feel free to check out Bone & Yarn.
How do you keep your dog hydrated?