Dogs and Hot weather
I just read a good article in Family Dog magazine, a publication put out by AKC. The article, written by Stanley Coren, Ph.D., quickly describes methods dogs use to keep themselves cool during hot weather. Definitely something to be aware of during the summer months. As smart as our pups are, we have to do the thinking for them sometimes, especially because some of them will go to the ends of the earth for us. The article mentions that the major way a dog cools down is by panting. It describes (in not too much detail) how panting works to cool down your dog. It also goes on to talk about the tricks dogs use to keep cool, like stretching out with their bellies against a cool floor. This behavior leads me to add my own 2 cents to the article. During this warm weather, one thing that I noticed helps our dogs feel more comfortable is by simply taking that puffy blanket, towel or cushy bedding out of their crate or sleep space. You may even notice that your pup is pushing his cushion or blanket out of his way. This is an indication that it is making him too hot. Instead, use a closed cell rubber mat on the plastic tray, or even nothing at all. The rubber mats are cushy, but stay cooler. This is an easy way to keep your pup more comfortable and it's simple to place their cushions or blankets back into their space when the weather gets cooler or at night when the temp goes back down.