Summer can be a great season to spend some quality time with your dog: you can hike in the mountains, go camping or simply relax at the beach. But the Lebanese summer gets very hot and humid and you need to take some steps to protect your pet. Whether you take him for a walk down the street, a ride in the car, or leave him/ her at home while you go to work - the heat can be hard on him. Here's how to keep your furry companion safe and relaxed:
1.Keep your house cool
When you're not home, make sure your pup has enough water and won't overheat in your apartment/house. Close the blinds and leave some windows or the balcony door open for fresh air to come in. Be careful, when closing everything while turning on the AC. If your electricity is as reliable as mine, a small studio can quickly turn into a boiling greenhouse.
2. Never leave your dog alone in the car
Everyone knows this situation: You have your dog in the back seat, maybe you come from the beach or from visiting your friends and then you remember this one little tiny errand that is just on the way home. The place doesn't allow dogs and you don't want to ever tie him/her outside a shop (imagine the horror of someone stealing/hurting your furry companion) and it is quite hot outside. Maybe you can just leave your dog in the car for 5 minutes? Please don't. Ever. Cars heat up in light speed, even if the windows are open and let's be honest, these quick little errands often turn out to take forever. Don't take the risk.
3. Adjust the time of your walks
If you are not sure if its too hot to walk your dog, put your fingers on the asphalt: if you can't keep them there for 5 seconds it is too hot and your furry companions paws will get burned. To avoid getting all sweaty and exhausted, just take your dog out for a quick pee in the noon time and go for real walks only the morning and after sunset, so you both can enjoy a nice and long walk.
4. Step up your treat game
Besides always providing enough water, you can spoil your loved one(s) by making delicious doggy ice cream. It's very easy and the fruit and yogurt ones you can even eat yourself.
5.Groom your dog - the right way!
While some breeds require the services of a professional groomer, all dogs benefit from a good brushing, especially in summer. But remember that recent viral photo of a shaved husky? Do NOT shave your double-coated dog (Husky, Chow Chow etc.). Yes, they are hot, just like we are. But whatever its length and composition, a dog’s coat provides built-in climate control as well as the first line of defense against sunburn, twigs, and stickers, among other things. Basically, what keeps them warm in winter keeps them cool in summer. If you shave them off, you mess with your dog's natural climate regulation and your dog might be much worse than before. If you have questions about how to groom your dog in summer, consult your vet and have him/her recommend a groomer.
6.Get a doggy pool
If you have a small terrace or a garden you can make your pup really happy this summer. You can find a tiny pool in most malls and toy shops and it won't cost you an arm and a leg!
7. Check for ticks
Summer is tick season. So especially if you spend a lot of time outside in nature, it is important to not fall behind on your dogs on-spot tick treatment. Best is, to get the spot-on solution (available at any vet clinic), that you apply directly to your dog's neck. Still, it is advisable to regularly check your dog for ticks, when you brush him, because left too long or not removed entirely, these buggers can cause some serious diseases. You can also use an anti-tick shampoo when giving your pup a shower.
8.Watch out for signs of overheating
Some dogs, especially snub-nosed breeds like a pug or bulldog, already have difficulties breathing and in summer they get easily overheated. Your furry companion can't tell you when he doesn't feel well, so keep an eye out for the symptoms of heatstroke:
-Dark or red gums and tongue
If you see any signs, get him to the vet right away.