Sometimes, the summer months can be unbearable for even the toughest humans. In the desperation to cool down, it can be far too easy to forget dogs suffer just as much, if not more, than we do! Here are some tips and tricks for helping your pups combat the heat.
Out and About
It is a legal requirement in the UK for your dog to be microchipped and wearing a collar with an ID tag (listing name of owner, a contact number, and address including the postcode).
There’s an often an increase of lost dogs as they’re let off the lead a lot more and may decide to run off in search of a place to cool down. It’s good to have the knowledge that if this happens, you can be reunited.
It is not a crime to leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, but if they become ill or die as a result, you can be charged with animal cruelty. Parking in the shade and/or cracking the windows to let fresh air in simply isn’t enough!
In fact, if you’re popping to the shops, it’s much better to leave them tied up outside than in the back of a car.
Vets report an increase in blistered paws around this time of year.
Shorten walks and try to take them during the early morning or in the evening when the weather tends to be a lot cooler than midday.
If in doubt, a simple way to test if it’s safe to take your dog out is to hold your hand to the ground. If you can’t keep your hand in place for more than ten seconds, then maybe skip that walk for the moment!
Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburn too; especially in lightly coloured or thin coated dogs. They can also develop skin cancer.
Specially formulated suncream can be found in most pet shops. Ask your vet for tailored recommendations.
Another solution is dog boots – such as the Mikki Dog Boot - these can protect paws and heal any pad injury.
Dogs pant to cool down because they don’t sweat as much as humans do. Symptoms to look out for are:
- Heavy panting,
- Glazed eyes,
- Rapid pulse,
- Excessive salivation,
- Lack of coordination,
- Vomiting or diarrhea,
- Loss of consciousness.
If you see these, act fast by moving your pet to a shaded area and apply towels soaked in cold water, and give them water to drink or an ice cube to lick. Do not put them straight into ice water or make them drink too much as this could send them into shock.
A Cool House
- Open up your windows.
- If your pet has a reputation for scampering out of open windows, set up screens to allow ventilation while keeping them safe.
- Set some fans blowing and ensure there’s plenty of shaded areas in the garden to help them keep cool.
- Always make sure there’s a fresh supply of water.
- If your dog is having a play date, have multiple bowls out in the event of one being knocked over.
- Add ice to keep it cold and refreshing for your pup.
You can also put bowls of water outside your house so that any passing pups can keep refreshed too.
It is easy to use the good weather as an opportunity to exercise your dog more but, for reasons already listed, this can be dangerous if the correct care tips are not followed.
Instead of taking them out for a walk or a game of fetch in the park, try hiding toys around the house for them to find. It keeps them engaged and enables their natural instincts but allows you to keep an eye on their health as well.
Keeping cool in the summer can seem like an impossible task. These are just a few ways to make the most of the nice weather while keeping man’s best friend feeling comfortable and cool.
Always remember - your dog is unique, so it’s best to try out all of these methods to see what work best for your pup!