Five top tips for keeping your dog cool in summer
The summer months bring with them glorious sunshine and longer days - it’s the perfect time to be outdoors. However, as the temperature increases, so does the risk of doggy dehydration and heat stroke, so here are our top tips for keeping your dog cool, happy and healthy this summer.
With summer fast approaching, soon we’ll be spending our days outside, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the warmer weather. It’s a time for BBQs, long walks, trips to the seaside and sunbathing in the garden.
Although there’s lots of fun to be had, it’s important not to get too distracted by the lovely weather and make sure you keep your pooch cool and comfortable. Summer can be incredibly challenging for dogs, due to their thick, fluffy coats they can’t release heat at the same rate humans can, so the risk of heat stroke is much higher.
Here are some tips for ensuring your dog stays happy and healthy as the temperature rises:
KEEP THEIR WATER FRESH AND COOL
It goes without saying that your dog needs to keep hydrated, but the water at this time of year should be especially cool. Refiling your pooch’s bowl frequently will mean the water can cool them down effectively. Try adding ice cubes to their bowl, it helps the water stay colder for longer. It’s also a good idea to have multiple bowls around the house and out in the garden (in a nice, shady spot) so that your dog always has access to water.
WALK YOUR DOG AT COOLER TIMES OF THE DAY
Walking your pooch in summer remains an important task to keep them happy and healthy. Although it can be tempting to spend all day out in the sunshine, it’s important you plan your dog walks to best suit your pooch. Try to walk them either early in the morning or later in the evening, and avoid midday where the sun is at its highest - it will be much better for your dog, as the ground is cooler to step on and the air temperature is much more pleasant.
CREATE A SHADY SPOT
Your dog may enjoy sunbathing just as much as you, but prolonged exposure to the sun can cause heat stroke for dogs and so ultimately, your pooch needs a place to chill out in the shade. This could be a covered spot in the garden or a tiled kitchen floor which is cold enough for your dog to relax and cool down. If your garden doesn’t have any covered spots, make your own shade using things like a large parasol, or even by casting a blanket over something to create a cool space on the ground. Place a water bowl with ice cubes here too, so your pooch can stay hydrated as they chill out.
It’s also important to remember that just like humans, dogs can get sunburnt too! This can lead to painful blisters and sores on their skin, which can eventually lead to more serious problems like skin cancer. Sunburn is more common with white dogs, but that doesn’t mean your pooch isn’t at risk. You can buy some dog-friendly sun creams at your local pet store, and apply it to sensitive spots like ears and noses. The best way to prevent any nasty sunburns is to keep your pooch in the shade as much as possible.
GET A POOCH-FRIENDLY PADDLING POOL
If your four-legged friend loves water, then doggy pools are a wonderful way to keep them cool and happy during the summer months. With pools available from most homeware stores for a reasonable price, you can keep your dog nice and cool, whilst also having a fun opportunity to play some new games in the water. Be sure not to over excite your pooch though, as getting them too worked up will get them all hot and bothered.
NEVER LEAVE THEM ALONE IN THE CAR
Most people will say leaving your dog in the car is fine if the windows are down, however, we recommend never leaving them in the car during the summer months as it can heat up incredibly quickly. Alongside this, the claustrophobic feel of a car may cause your dog to get over excited or distressed, making the chances of dehydration higher and so the risk of heat stroke more severe.
These tips should help you and your pooch have a happy, healthy and adventure-filled summer!