Doggie days are here again! Tips to help your pooch stay cool during the dog days of summer

 Hot dogSave yourself; finish the walk without me! Image credit: Hot Dog by Simon Law, on Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Here on Emmet Street, we’re in the heart of the dog days of summer. (Fun fact: Did you know the phrase may have celestial origins? The days of extreme heat experienced in the northern hemisphere in July and August coincides with the period the brightest star Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, rises in conjunction with the sun, causing the folks of the days of yore to think the combination of two was responsible for the sweltering heat.)

In addition to being science geeks, we’re also dog lovers, so we thought we’d offer some tips for keeping your favorite pooch comfortable during the insufferable summer heat:

  • As much as your dog loves to go for a ride in the car, don’t take Fido along if you have to leave him in it. Even just a few minutes in a hot car can be dangerous for pets (and people). According to The Humane Society of the United States, the interior temperature of a parked can exceed 100 degrees within ten minutes on an 85-degree day–even if you leave the windows open a crack.
  • Limit walks on hot days. Dogs can become overheated and suffer heatstroke just like we can, so try to get your pet’s exercise in during the early morning or late evening hours when the heat and humidity are lower. Click here to learn the signs of heatstroke.
  • When you do take your pup for a walk, make sure to avoid hot surfaces like asphalt or pavement. These surfaces absorb heat and can reach temperatures that will burn your dog’s paw pads and your furry pal will not show signs of pain until the damage is already done.
  • Dogs can get dehydrated quickly in the heat so keep the water bowl filled–on particularly hot days, add some ice cubes for extra cooling power.
  • Give Fluffy a cold treat to cool her off. My (now departed) dog loved to lick ice cubes and frozen treats made just for dogs. The Humane Society shared this recipe for Peanut Butter Popsicles that Lulu would have loved.
  • Dogs–especially short-haired breeds–can sunburn, too. Pay special attention to noses and ears and make sure to use a pet-safe brand (many sunscreens for people contain zinc oxide, which is toxic to pets). Prevention magazine recommends Epi-Pet‘s pet sunscreen products.

What about you? Do you have any tried-and-true tips to help your bassenji beat the heat? Please share them in the comments!

Like these tips or know someone who would love the Peanut Butter Popsicle recipe for her pampered pomeranian? It’s easy to spread the word! Simply use one of the sharing buttons below. (Note: If you’re reading this via e-mail or reader, you’ll need to link to our website to use the sharing buttons.).