This is a blog of a proud dog owner in Manila, Philippines.
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Doggie Day Fair 2

Battling the sweltering summer heat

This post was filed under Pet Care.

One of the best things about living in a tropical country is never having to worry about preparing for the cold winter. Here in the Philippines, there are only two seasons: wet and dry seasons. We usually have to worry about is water-proofing our houses from the constant rains and typhoons during the rainy season. Floods are always a great tragedy.

Preparing for the summer season is almost always frequently overlooked. For us humans, summer usually means two months of fun days under the sun. But for our funny friends, it’s not only uncomfortable, but could also be a matter of life and death.

Since our family don’t go out too often during the summer (me and my husband love to travel, but the summer heat is just too overwhelming), we’ve come up with a list of “to-do’s” for our dogs so that they would be comfortable during the summer.

Let the dogs stay in air-conditioned rooms with you. Our two Shih Tzus and my mom’s favorite aspin / Japanese Spitz mix stay inside the house with us since they’re the smallest in our dog pack. They’re also the furriest. Since intense heat usually activates my asthma and our home office have expensive computer equipment, me and the dogs usually stay inside an air-conditioned room. It’s a pain when the electric bill comes, but it’s worth it — my husband and I would rather pay a bit more on electricity for two months than having the dogs suffer heat exhaustion or me confined to the hospital due to frequent asthma attacks.

Always keep a boy of fresh water for them to drink. I think this is self-explanatory. We all know how important it is to drink water, especially on a hot summer day. Dogs are the same, they need water too.

Provide adequate shelter. The dogs must have shade to keep them cool if they’re staying outside your house. We’re lucky that there are two mango trees in our backyard, the dogs can play in the grass even when it’s hot since the trees provide shade. I also had a tiled area done for barbecues in the yard, and it’s the perfect place for the dogs to hang out (the tiles keep them cool).

Give the dogs a shower! Let them cool off. Even dogs who don’t like baths appreciate having a cool shower in the summer heat.

Give the dogs a haircut. Our pure Aspins (Spike and Kutonbol) have short hair, unfortunately, the others aren’t so lucky. The other dogs are either Shih Tzus (Shantee and Kubrick) or Aspin / Japanese Spitz mix (Harry, Choknat and Patatats) — thick-haired breeds. Summer is an insane season for them, so it’s usually the time when we give them a “crew cut.” The dogs sometimes feel ashamed of their silly haircuts (we either cut their fur really short or have them shaved), but looking silly is better than having them suffer heat exhaustion 😛

Make sure that the dogs’ living quarters are well-ventilated. Just like humans, dogs kept inside the house should have proper ventilation. Keep windows open so air gets in. Last summer, my dad even had exhaust fans installed in our house, significantly cooling the parts of the house where it was usually hot.

Probably because of climate change, our weather has been, for lack of a better term: weird. El Nino has already brought drought to our country — the heat hadn’t been friendly to both plants, animals and even humans (heat stroke is very dangerous!). It’s best to stay safe and take necessary precautions. We don’t want our summer fun be ruined by a tragedy, do we?

Hope you all have a safe and fun summer! 🙂

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