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Top Tips for Dogs in Hot Weather

Now that the weather is finally warming up, we will all be finding the sunniest spot in the garden, which includes our furry companions. They also enjoy basking in the sunshine; unfortunately, too much exposure to the sun, heat, and summer-related activities can be very problematic.  


Thankfully, we have some top tips and advice on how you can keep your pooch as safe as possible this summer: 

 

Early morning or late evening walks  

Dog walks in hot weather can be extremely unsafe for your pooch, so an early morning walk is an ideal time, before the ground has had time to warm up and when the air is still cool. If your schedule does not allow, then the next best time is when the sun starts to set, and the temperature has begun to drop.

Walking your dog between these times can be very dangerous, as it is generally the hottest part of the day, making your dog susceptible to heatstroke and burning the pads of their feet on the hot pavement.  


Choose shaded areas 

A lot of dogs enjoy laying out in the sun. Some dogs will know when it is time to seek shade, but unfortunately, others won’t, so making sure there is always a shaded area available is important.  

Whether you keep the door to your home open so they can wander in when they need some shade or, if you can, set up a shaded doggy bed in the garden, open your garage or shed if you have one, and ensure there is always ample fresh and cold water, keep an eye on this as it will empty quicker than usual!  

For those stubborn pups who don’t know when they’ve had too much sun, keep an eye on them and move them to a shaded area when you feel they are getting a little bit too warm.  


Keep them hydrated 

Keeping a stubborn dog hydrated in the summer can be difficult, especially when it is nearly impossible to force them to drink from their water bowl. Thankfully, there are alternative ways to ensure your pup is consuming enough water.  

Giving ice cubes to dogs is a good way to get them to drink more water, as they’ll see it as a fun snack rather than a drink. Be careful not to offer these when it is too hot, though, as changing your dog’s body temperature too drastically could send them into shock!  

Another way to keep your dog hydrated is by soaking their favourite soft toys in cool water. This way, as they play with them, they are likely to suck the water out of them without even really noticing.  


Freeze their food 

Freezing your dogs’ food is a great way to keep them both cool and occupied. Try freezing and then stuffing your dog’s favourite meal into a Kong if you have one or spreading them onto a licky mat before popping them in the freezer.

Licky mats are dog relaxers rather than stimulators like a snuffle mat; they are fairly inexpensive and long-lasting.  

Once frozen, you can give it to your dog and watch their delight as they spend hours licking it. Or a frozen banana, cucumber or frozen carrot can replicate an ice lolly and go down a treat!  


Keep your car cool 

We all know the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car! We obviously would NEVER recommend you do this in the height of summer. However, if you really must leave them for a few minutes, make sure the car is kept cool by running the air conditioning for a while before you leave and opening the windows enough to allow some cooler air in.  

When travelling, it is also important to keep the car at a comfortable temperature for your pooch, so keep the air conditioning running—or cool air venting—for the whole journey.  


Tip: Rather than popping them straight into the car for a journey, run the car with air conditioning or cooling air venting before they jump in the car.  


Get them groomed before the hot weather  

Most dogs will shed hair all year round, but in the lead up to summer, shedding can increase and make way for their lighter summer coats. Often, without a good brush or a professional groom, the loose hair will sit on your dog's body, which will keep them feeling warm.  

As the weather heats up, booking your dog in for a professional groom is a great way to remove excess hair and will aid in keeping them cooler in the summer sun.  


Know the signs of heatstroke!  

Symptoms include:   

  • Heavy drooling   

  • Panting and/or difficulty breathing   

  • Reddening of the gums   

  • Collapsing   

  • Unusually quick heart rate   

  • Increased temperature   

   

What to do if you think your dog has heatstroke:   

   

Call your vet at once and follow all the advice that they give you. In the meantime, you want to cool your dog down as much as possible. Do this by placing a damp, cool (not cold) tea towel over their body and applying cool water to your dog’s paws and ear flaps. Be sure to move your dog away from the heat source to somewhere cooler or shaded outside.   

 

Invest in safety 

There are other things you can do to keep your dog cool in the summer. You could invest in cool mats or vests to allow your pooch to lay out in the sun.  

Portable water bowls and bottles are another great investment, whether for your morning or evening walk or for those summer car journeys to the seaside. Keeping your dog hydrated is so important, so having a way of doing this with ease and on the go is a worthwhile investment.  


It all comes down to making sure your furry friends are safe and comfortable in the summer, so find a way that suits you and continue doing that.  


Stay safe but remember to have fun in the sun.

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