7 Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
We maybe basking in the very surprising British heatwave, but it can be pretty ruff on our dogs. When temperatures soar our dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes. We wouldn't dream of wearing a thick winter coat in this weather, but unfortunately our dogs don't have a choice. To make sure that your dog stays safe and hydrated this summer we've put together 7 top tips to ensure you have the coolest dog around.
Tip 1 - Keep your dog hydrated
Unlike humans dogs can't sweat through their skin, they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. Throughout the hot summer days its vital to keep your dog hydrated. Keep an eye on their water bowls and regularly top them up as soon as their empty.
TOP TIP - Place a few ice cubes within their bowl, this will stop the water from becoming warm and keep your dog nice and cool.
Tip 2 - Watch out for signs of dehydration & heatstroke
If your dog is suffering from dehydration or heatstroke they may do the following:
- Pant excessively
- Drool excessively
- Become lethargic
- Their eyes become bloodshot
In the unfortunate event that your dog shows signs of any of the above urgent treatment is essential. Immediately take your dog to a cool area and begin to cool their body down. This can be done sponging their body down with cool water, pouring a bucket of cool water over them, using a hose or applying cold wet towels over their body. In addition to this treatment always call a vet to have your dog professionally examined.
TOP TIP - Don't over chill an overheated dog! Once your dog stops panting and begins walking around normally stop the cooling down process, as over chilling can also be very dangerous for your dog.
Tip 3 - Swimming
If your dog enjoys a good swim this is the perfect alternative to taking your dog for a walk in the summer heat. Swimming offers a great source of exercise for your dog while keeping him cool and hydrated. Dog friendly swimming pools, fresh water lakes, canals and rivers are ideal for our dogs. If your dog isn't very keen on swimming holding your dog while entering the shallow part of the water will cool them down, allowing them to feel safe and can be a great bonding experience for you and your canine. A paddling pool is another alternative for dogs not keen on swimming. Filling it up with shallow cool water and leaving it in the garden will allow your dog to explore the pool, entering as and when they like for a good old doggy splash about.
Tip 4 - Frozen doggy treats
When the sun comes out frozen treats such as ice-creams, ice cold smoothies and frozen yogurts are just what we need, well the same goes for our dogs. Instead of just letting your dog suck on an ice cube why not make him a delicious frozen treat that you too can enjoy.
Here’s a list of our favourite dog friendly frozen recipes:
Tip 5 - Overheating your dog
Our dogs need exercise however on a hot summers day exercising your dog could lead to overheating, dehydration and heatstroke. To prevent this take your dog for early morning or late evening walks when the sun is not at its peak. Be sure to carry water with you when walking with your dog and present it to him at regular intervals.
TOP TIP - Dogs cool from the bottom up, to aid in cooling your dog down spray its paws and stomach with cool water throughout the day and on walks.
Tip 6 - Avoid long car journeys
The enclosed area, limited air space and heat intensifying glass causes cars to retain excessive heat and create a dangerous environment for our dogs. A dog should never be left unattended in a car, but even while your present your cars natural environment can still cause a dog to over heat. On a very hot summers day try to avoid long car journeys with your dog. Dogs can get over excited by passers-by or panic from claustrophobia which can in turn cause dehydration and overheating.
If car journeys with your dog are unavoidable ensure that:
- Regular stops are incorporated into your journey
- You have a vast amount of water
- The air conditioning is running to keep the car as cool as possible
- Your dog is kept as calm as possible to avoid overheating from stress or excitement
Tip 7 - Groom your dog
One of the best ways to keep your dog cool in the summer sun is to properly groom your dog. Long-haired and double coated dogs are particularly prone to overheating due to their thick coats. The correct maintenance of your dogs coat is essential as it can become matted and prevent air flow across your dogs skin. Cutting their coats as short as possible will make them feel lighter, cooler and retain less heat.
TOP TIP - Frequently brush your dogs coat to help remove dead fur and keep their coat healthy and comfortable.
Have a great summer!!
Paws with Opulence
Cover photo credit - Nick hanna / Alamy