A heatwave can be a difficult for us, also our dogs. With thick coats and inability to sweat anywhere but through their paws, it’s not a surprise that the heat makes them vulnerable.
We may understand the dangers of leaving dogs in cars because of how quickly they heat up, but there are other less obvious risks that need to be considered in hot weather.
Here are our suggestions for a safe summer with your dog:
Dogs love to be outside, but when it is particularly hot and sunny. Finding a shady spot in the garden or park isn’t always enough to keep their temperature down, so try to keep your dog inside during the hottest part of the day.
Also limit time spent exercising, particularly as pavements can become scorching hot and burn your dog’s delicate paw pads. Try resting the back of your hand on the pavement and see if you can hold it there for five seconds – if not, the path is too hot for your dog to walk on.
Protect pink areas with a sun cream specially developed for dogs. Noses and ears are areas susceptible to sunburn, so keep them protected as best you can.
Ensure water is always available to your dog, as dehydration can quickly lead to heatstroke and other life-threatening conditions. If you have a paddling pool you can leave out for your dog to splash about in, even better! Make sure this is always controlled though and if you're not going to be around for some of the day, consider setting up a sprinkler instead. See our next blog on the dangers of water inhalation and secondary drowning.
Excess hair will only act to insulate your dog further. Keep on top of grooming and if your dog is long-haired, having them clipped will help hugely.
Make some cooling freeze pops you can have ready for when your dog is really struggling in the heat. You can buy these ready-made or make your own - there are plenty of delicious recipes online. Alternatively give your dog a couple of ice cubes to play with it will entertain them and hydrate them at the same time.
Refrain from leaving your dog in any confined spaces, including greenhouses, caravans and cars. These all become like ovens in the heat and very uncomfortable and dangerous places for a dog to be.
You can find a wide range of hot weather care products on the web, including cooling pads and coats, cooling toys, travel water bottles and other essential items.