Coping in a heatwave can be a struggle for us, let alone our dogs. With their thick coats and inability to sweat anywhere but through their paws, it’s not surprising that the heat makes them vulnerable.
By now, most of us understand the dangers of leaving dogs unattended in cars because of how quickly they heat up, but there are other less obvious risk factors 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 sometimes their access to the great outdoors should be restricted, such as 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.
- Likewise, limit time spent exercising, particularly as pavements can become scorching hot very quickly 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 especially 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 supervised though and if you're not going to be around for some of the day, consider setting up a sprinkler instead.
- Keep on top of grooming, as excess hair will only act to insulate your dog further. If your dog is long-haired, having them clipped will help hugely.
- Make some cooling freezer pops you can have ready for when your dog is really struggling in the heat. You can buy these or make your own - there are plenty of delicious recipes online.
- Finally, 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.
If you have any hot weather care tips of your own, please share them with us ….