Summer heat can be a challenge if you’ve got fur. If you’re a dog owner, you should find some ways to help your dog stay cool when temperatures are rising. Keeping them cool helps them to stay happy and healthy, and avoids your dog suffering from heatstroke.
Help Them Keep Cool
Make sure your dog has a few options to stay cool, so you don’t have to worry about cooling them down if they’ve got hot. Make sure there’s some shade available in the garden for them to lie in, and encourage them to lie here instead of in the direct sun. Buy a paddling pool, and on very hot days, fill it up for the dog to splash in for some cooling fun. You could put the sprinkler on too. If they insist on lying in the sun, offer them something cool to lie on like a damp towel or special dog cooling mats.
Be Careful With The Car
Dogs can die in hot cars, so be extra careful on hot days. Park in the shade, and leave a window slightly open. Never leave a dog in a car in the summer for more than a few minutes, and never leave it alone when temperatures are high.
Always Offer Water
Dogs need to be well hydrated to regulate their temperature, so make sure they always have good access to water. Consider putting out an extra water bowl in the garden when the weather is hot, so the dog can access water quickly from outside. If it’s really hot, you could put some ice cubes in their bowl too, or offer ice as a treat to play with. If you’re out and about, make sure you have the option to offer water too.
Plan Your Walks
Don’t take the dog for a walk when the temperature is highest at around midday. A walk early in the morning, or in the evening will be cooler for you and the dog. Remember too that the dog doesn’t have any shoes to protect its feet from hot pavement. Hot pavements can actually burn your dog’s paws, so check the temperature before you head out. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for paws. Wait until the weather is cooler or buy little booties to protect their paws. Other surfaces like tarmac or sand can also be a problem for sensitive paws, so think carefully before heading out with the dog.
Keep Them Groomed
Thick fur and any mats can trap heat, so remember to keep your dog properly groomed over the summer. Take them for frequent clipping and brush their fur regularly.
Try Sun Cream For Dogs
Dogs can get sunburn, especially if they have thin or light coloured fur. Ask your vet if you think your dog may be at risk, and they can advise what to buy. You can buy sun cream for dogs, so if your dog is at risk, invest and remember to put it on when the sun is out.
Offer New, Cooler Games
Try to find ways to entertain the dog that doesn’t involve running around, which will make them hot. Freeze some different foods and offer them in food puzzles to keep your dog interested, without pushing up their temperature by too much.
Know The Signs Of Heat Stroke
Heatstroke can develop quickly in dogs, so be on the lookout for symptoms so you can respond quickly. Heatstroke develops when dogs cannot lower their body temperature. Signs include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, excessive drooling, lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of consciousness. If you see these signs, it’s essential to get your dog cool as quickly as possible, as heatstroke can be fatal for your dog. Contact your vet immediately, as they can advise the best way to help them, and whether or not you need to bring them in to be treated. Do what you can to get their temperature down fast. Take the dog to somewhere cool and shaded, like inside a cool room of the house. Soak some towels in cold water and drape them over the dog’s head, neck, and chest. Offer them some water to drink or an ice cube to lick. Do not put the dog into ice water or allow them to drink too much water too quickly, as this could send them into shock. Instead, focus on bringing their temperature down and keeping them calm.
How did your dog cope with the summer?