After a cold winter where we had to stay inside or be all bundled up when we wandered into our back yard, the warm and sunny days of summer seem like a blessing. We can go outside, run and play, and enjoy the sun on our face (with the appropriate amount of sunscreen). We go to the beach and lie on the sand and think that is the best thing in the world.
All this may be great for us because we are humans. Our bodies have a great heat regulation and dissipation system called “sweating out of every pore of our body” (i.e. “sweating like a pig”). The moisture on our skin is chilled by air or wind passing over it and our body can cool down.
This is not the same with our dogs; not at all. Our dogs “pant”. This is an action where they open their mouth and cause air to pass over their moist tongue to cause cooling. The problem is that the surface area of their tongue is very small compared to their size. If they get really hot, they will quickly overheat and their natural resources can’t do a thing about it.
If we are outside in the summer heat playing with our dogs, their natural instinct for companionship and social interaction will cause them to “keep going” until they can become dangerously overheated. They do not have the capacity to recover and the consequences can be horrible.
We must regulate our outside summer activities to protect our dogs. We must also fulfill our dog’s need for companionship, social interaction, and healthy exercise. Robin and I have a great dog training article that will help with all of these things. Please read our dog training and safety blog titled “What Precautions Should I Take When Playing with My Dog in the Summer Heat”.