As summer starts to boil, keep your canine cool as a cucumber with these five safety tips from popular dog trainer Cesar Millan, best known for his television show “Dog Whisperer,” which airs on the National Geographic Channel.
1. Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night. “These are the cooler parts of the day,” says Millan, “and this will make the walk more comfortable for you and your dog. I’m a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, but this is the time of year to back off on exercise intensity.”
2. Know the signs of dehydration. “Dogs can’t sweat,” says Millan. “They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively.” Signs to look for include lethargy, bloodshot eyes and a pale appearance. If you lift his skin, it will take longer than usual for the skin to fall back into place.
3. Be creative! “Find new ways to cool your dog,” Millan says. “Don’t have air conditioning? No problem! Find a spot in the shade and set up a kiddie pool. At the Dog Psychology Center, we have misters that spray the dogs with gentle streams of misty water. Lay down a wet towel for your dog to lie on. Or simply set up a fan in front of a pan of ice.”
4. Make sure your dog is properly hydrated. Different dogs respond differently to the heat. Also, if your dog is overweight or has a darker coat, he may be more likely to become dehydrated. Millan suggests carrying a bottle of water when going on a walk with your dog. “Better yet,” he says, “have your dog carry it for you in a backpack or a vest! This will give your dog a sense of purpose, and the water in the bottles will help keep him cool.”
5. Do not leave your dog in a parked car – even for a few minutes. Says Millan: “Heat inside a parked car can build to deadly temperatures in a matter of minutes, even in the shade and with the windows open. Plus, a dog may get overexcited in the car due to passersby or panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. If it’s hot outside and you can’t take your dog in with you, be safe: leave your dog at home.”
For more Cesar Millan tips or information, visit www.cesarmillaninc.com.