The Dog-Owner’s Guide to Surviving Summer in Maine Without AC
We all know not to leave our dogs in the car when temps rise. Well, we should all know that. Big no-no. Don't do it. But it can be hard to keep your furry roommate nice and cool in the middle of a sticky, sweaty Maine summer. Here are some tips to turn to for the coming scorchers.
1) Get Some Props
First things first: if your apartment doesn't have central air, hop online or get yourself to the nearest pet store and order a cooling pad, a powerful fan dedicated to your pet's hangout spot, and a cooling collar or bandana, as modeled by my Bernese Mountain Dog below.
2) Water, Water, Water
If your pup likes to swim, take him or her to a dog friendly beach to go for a plunge and chill out in the shade. Always stay hydrated by bringing along a water bowl and plenty of cool water (you could even buy this cool dog-bottle). If your dog is like mine and doesn't swim, give them a bath, hose them down, or get a kiddie pool for them to stand in!
3) Take Your Time
It can be tempting to stick to your exercise routine, but chances are your dog will get too hot trying to keep up with you. On super hot days, it's important to get your dog's exercise in before or after the highest temps of the day. Go for a shorter, slower walk or jog at dawn or dusk to allow your pup to stretch their legs without overheating.
4) Watch for Heat Stroke
PetMD describes the symptoms of heat stroke as excessive panting, rapid breathing, excessive drooling, dark or bright red tongue or gums, staggering, body temperature of 104-110 F degrees, and bloody diarrhea or vomiting. Keep an eye out for any of these symptoms or other suspicious behavior by your furry friend and contact your vet if they appear. Dampening your pet's paw pads and ears can help cool them down, along with giving them ice to lick and always plenty of water.
5) Check With Your Vet
As always, check with your vet to get advice about keeping your dog cool. Depending on your dog's coat, hair length, and color, it may be helpful to shave them or apply sunscreen for extra protection - but this is not the right solution for all dogs.