Keeping Cool At Home
Make sure your dog always has access to a cooler area in your home along with plenty of fresh water. This could be a room with a fan in or a room which is tiled. You can also invest in a handy cool matt for your dog to relax on at home.
Plan Your Walk
During the summer it’s important to plan your walks. Try and avoid taking your dog out in the midday sun. It’s generally safe in temperatures of up to 19°C (68°F) but be careful when the mercury rises above this. Even at temperatures as low as 20°C (70°F) dogs are at risk of heat stroke. Early morning or evening walks will be cooler and more pleasant for them.
Before heading out it’s a good idea to check the temperature of the pavement as hot surfaces can really hurt your dog’s foot pads. If the surface feels too hot for you, the chances are it’s too hot for your dog.
Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs and a great exercise alternative to walking in the summer heat. But remember that not all dogs like to swim, so if yours doesn’t then don’t force them and never throw a dog into water.
Keep Them Hydrated
You need to ensure fresh, cool water is always available to your dog when the weather is hot, so that they do not become dehydrated. You can even try adding ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl for added cooling effect. When heading out with your dog always make sure you carry water for them. You can check out our Dog Owner Guide | Travel Water Bottles For Dogs
Regular grooming or clipping will help to keep your dog’s coat clean and free of knots and matting (read our top grooming tips here for more handy tips). This is important as matted hair can trap heat. Its also important that you do not allow your dog to stay damp after a wash, as this can cause unpleasant hot spots.
Just like humans, dogs are at risk of burning in the sun if they're not protected – especially lightly coloured or thinly coated dogs. If your unsure if your dog needs sun cream check with your vet
During the summer months we always make sure our freezer is full of cooling treats and activities our dogs can enjoy. Freeze food or use special food puzzles to keep your dog stimulated without too much exertion
In addition, frozen fruit treats can also be a fun way to help keep your dog cool – Slices of watermelon are a great snack to keep in the freezer and these can also be used on teething puppies.
Know the signs of heatstroke
Heatstroke develops when a dog can't reduce their body temperature and it can be fatal. Signs of heatstroke include:
• Heavy panting
• Glazed eyes
• A rapid pulse
• Excessive salivation
• Lack of coordination
• Vomiting or diarrhoea
• Loss of consciousness
If you think your dog has heatstroke, you need to act fast. Firstly, call your local vet. Then take them to a cool, shaded area. Apply towels soaked in cold water to their head, neck and chest and let them drink water or lick an ice cube. Never place them directly into ice cold water or give them too much to drink as they may go into shock.
Main Image sourced from Dog Days of Summer Art