Top Tips for a Cool Summer
Despite a feeling of disappointment every time we flick on the weather forecast, warm days are heading our way (fingers crossed) – which is a cue for us to pay just a little more attention to the needs of our canine companions.
Here we share our tips for keeping a step ahead of the heat and taking care of your dog.
Go out walking early in the morning or late at night
Since the start and end of the day is often the coolest, it will make life easier for you and your dog to get out and about during those times. It’s good for your canine’s physical and mental health to take plenty of exercise but it’s wise to restrict vigorous exercise when temperatures start to rise.
Keep your dog hydrated
Dogs can’t sweat and so they cool down by panting. When dehydrated they can drool excessively, become lethargic and their eyes become bloodshot. Another telltale sign of dehydration is the skin losing elasticity and taking longer than usual to fall back into place after being lifted.
Don’t wait to see the signs of dehydration, carry a bottle of water when out walking and make sure you offer your dog an opportunity to drink on a regular basis.
Keep Fido cool
Adding a little water to the bottom of a paddling pool and popping it in a shaded corner of the garden should be enough to keep your pooch cool. Alternatively, spreading out a wet towel for your dog to lie on will help keep their body temperature down. Setting up a fan behind a bucket of ice works too, as does the sort of fine mist spray that can be used on plants. Just make sure your dog is happy to be sprayed with water. Start by spraying your dog’s paws and stomach, which will bring more comfort than spraying the top of their body with water.
Swimming is a better form of exercise than walking or running in the warm weather, but make sure your dog is comfortable in water. Not all dogs are great swimmers. It’s best to introduce them to shallow water and watch how they react before going deeper. Once up to speed, try holding on to your pooch while you are both swimming, as it’s a great way of bonding.
Let your dog dig
Dogs dig dens for a variety of reasons, including creating somewhere to keep cool. If it’s feasible, guide your pet to a shaded area when he starts pawing earth.
Let them conduct their own weather check
If it’s cooler inside the house than outside but your dog is eager to get out for a walk, open the door and let them feel the heat. They will quickly settle for keeping cool.
Never leave your dog in the car
Cars can heat up rapidly and get much hotter than the external temperature, often with fatal consequences for dogs trapped inside for just a brief time. Never shut your dog in the car when it’s warm or when there’s the potential for temperatures to start rising, it’s not worth the risk.
30 June 2015
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