We all know how important it is to stay cool as a cucumber in the Summer heat, after all, nobody likes being hot and bothered. Exactly the same can be said for your dog – a cool pup is a happy pup. So what can you do to help when the sun comes out this Summer?
First things first, and as simple as it sounds, try to keep your dog inside and away from direct sunlight. Keep curtains and windows closed while it’s hotter outside than in, and encourage your dog to relax in a nice cool spot in your home. As far as your daily walk goes, imagine how you’d feel if you were made to walk on roasting hot pavements in bare feet! It’s super important to think twice before walking your dog in hot weather (and prepare to ignore the pleading eyes of a dog that wants a walk – remember, you know best and by keeping them inside you’re keeping them safe!). Early mornings and later evenings might be a good option for a walk, but on the very hottest days your dog is much safer to stay at home. No walk is worth risking your best friend’s health for. You can always provide some mental stimulation for your dog to ward off the boredom with some doggy brain games – look online for fun ideas.
A plentiful supply of fresh water should be available at all times, and why not share some raw veg with your pooch to help keep him hydrated? If you think your dog is struggling in the heat, use a cold wet flannel to wick away heat from the skin. And don’t forget to dig out the paddling pool! Fill with cool (not ice cold) water and let your pup have a splash for a while in a shady part of the garden.
So, you’ve closed your curtains, ignored the ‘I miss my walk’ sad face, and taken your dog for a cool down in the paddling pool… but what happens if your pup still overheats? Dogs can’t sweat through their skin like we do, so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and noses to regulate their temperature, and sometimes that isn’t enough. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke in minutes (shocking I know, but really important to be aware of on the hottest days). Some of the warning signs that your dog isn’t coping with the heat are excessive panting, dribbling and collapse. If you notice any of these symptoms then move your dog to the coolest place you can find, wet their coats with cool water and ring your vet.
Last but by no means least, never ever EVER (EVVVVVVVVERRRRR) leave your dog in a hot car, even for the briefest time. Temperatures inside a vehicle can be drastically higher than outside, and even a minute or two is too much.
Here’s wishing you and your furry friend a happy, healthy and chilled out Summer!