Summer is well underway and we have had some lovely sunny weather, but all this sunshine and hot temperatures sometimes aren’t our dogs favourite things. Even though we love to go out and about during this weather our dogs are normally better off at home in a cool area. We’ve come up with a list of summer do’s and don’ts to help keep your dog safe and cool this summer.
DO – Make sure your dog has a cool place in the house to chill out in. Whether it be a room with the AC or a fan on or just a section of the house that is a bit cooler than the rest. When your dog is getting too hot they will probably go and lay in this area to cool off.
DON’T – Walk your dog during the middle of the day, try to walk early in the morning when it hasn’t heated up yet or later in the evening when its cooling down again. Also check the pavements, the sun heats up our pavements and making your dog walk on it can burn their paws. Lay the back of your hand against the pavement for 5 seconds if it is too hot for you then it’s too hot for your dogs paws.
DO – Make your dog some cool treats, how about some frozen yogurt, peanut butter, and banana treats, or pop their normal stuffed kong in the fridge or freezer, or try adding some ice cubes to their water. Dog’s enjoy cooling treats as much as we do.
DON’T – Leave your dog in the car. Your car can turn into an oven very quickly during the summer. If the temperature outside is 22°c your car can heat up to 47°c within an hour and this is fatal for dogs. Even with the windows open and water available dogs will suffer from heat stroke.
DO – Keep your dog well groomed, not only is this great to spot any of those pesky summer bugs such as ticks or fleas but you need to make sure your dog hasn’t picked up any grass seeds. These can sometimes get stuck in your dogs coat and even get imbedded in their skin and cause problems and a vet visit. Also brush out them knots, dogs coats are actually great at keeping them cool and getting the air to their skin.
DON’T – Assume your dog can swim. Taking your dog to the beach for a swim in the water is a great way to let them cool off but don’t presume they will just be able to swim. If it’s they’re first time at the beach make sure you keep them on a long lead so they don’t swim out too far. Even if your dog can swim always keep an eye on them, if they get stuck in a current they might not be able to get back to shore.
DO – Get some cool summer products. Why not get your dog a paddling pool for the garden to play in, these are especially great for dogs that love water. If your dogs not a big water fan how about try a cooling mat or coat. And don’t forget some sunscreen, dogs with light coloured skin and/or short coats can get sunburn just like us. Check around your dogs nose and tummies and get a pet safe sunscreen to rub in.
Don’t forget to keep your dog cool but it’s always good to know signs of heat stroke in your dog so we can get them the medical care they need. Here’s a great graphic from VetsNow to help you spot the signs of heat stroke and what to do if you think your dog is suffering.