The ASPCA encourages concern for the safety and health of dogs in hot weather. "Hot Weather Tips," an article on the association's website, lists ways to keep your pet safe and healthy in extreme heat. Suggestions include keeping your dog in a shaded area in the summer months and indoors in extreme heat. Pet owners should consider humidity along with the temperature: Breathing in extremely hot or humid air is dangerous to dogs' health, as they do not perspire but cool off through panting and through the padded bottoms of their feet. Providing a dog house that is a cool respite from the heat is easy to do. There are several ways you can make your dog's outdoor home safer and more comfortable in hot weather.
Choose a shady area to place the dog house to keep the dog house cooler and to limit the dog's exposure to the sun when outside his house. Put the dog house under a tree for shade, if possible. Use a tarp to cover an area where you'll place the dog house if a shade tree if not available.
Ventilate the dog house to provide airflow inside it. Purchase a vinyl dog house that has a closeable vent on top or venting holes around the roof edges. Make your own vent holes in a wooden dog house or a vinyl one you already own. Use an ice pick or awl and hammer to poke holes quarter- to half-dollar-size holes around the roof edge. Place sturdy blocks under the dog house to raise it off the ground for airflow underneath for even more ventilation.
Purchase a dog cooling bed. Consider the choices of a bed with a zipped area to put ice inside, one that has ice blocks to freeze and put inside the bed, or an entire pad that you can exchange throughout the day with another cooled one. Instead of a cooling pad, consider a dog cot that is raised off the floor a few inches to allow airflow under the cot.
Put an air conditioner in your dog house. Consider air conditioners of various sizes and types, such as a battery-operated one as small as a shoebox or an electric unit that is also a heater for cold weather.
Supply plenty of cool water for your dog during hot periods. Refresh the water often so the dog doesn't have to drink water that has become hot in the heat.
Place large chunks of ice in the water bowl to keep it cool longer.
Keep any cords that come into the dog house very short. Secure and cover the cords to prevent accidents.
Items You Will Need
- Dog house
- Sturdy blocks
- Ice pick or awl
- Small metal vents
- Pet cooling pads
- Pet pillow inserts
- Raised dog cot
- Dog house air conditioner
- Lonely dog watching out of his kennel image by asmik from Fotolia.com