19th May 2023
Summer is here and whilst we might want to make the most of the sunny weather (before it goes again!), it’s important to understand how to keep our canine companions cool and from risk of danger!
Did you know… Dogs don’t cool down like we do and can often struggle in the heat– wearing a fur coat all year round can’t be easy after all! To stop themselves turning into hot dogs, our perspiring pooches will pant, lay on cool surfaces and regulate their body heat by sweating from their paw pads.
Here are our hot weather hacks to help you keep your pooch happy and healthy in the summer sun.
How to keep your dog cool
Most dogs will feel uncomfortable on warmer days, with some breeds struggling more than others. Here are just some basic tips on how to keep your dog cool:
- Provide them with shaded areas in the garden or on walks
- Make sure they have constant access to fresh, clean water
- Take them on early morning or late evening walks so that it’s cooler
- Avoid hot pavements, fake grass and roads as these can burn your dog’s paws
- Never leave your dog in a hot car as this can be fatal, even in the shade
Our top hacks in making sure your pooch doesn’t become a hot dog
We’ve got you and your furry friend covered when it comes to enjoying the warmer days at home or out and about.
Why not fill a shallow paddling pool or washing up bowl for your dog? This will give them a chance to cool off with a nice, refreshing dip. Try to avoid pools that are made of vinyl or softer materials that could be punctured by excited paws or teeth.
Always keep a close eye on them while they’re in the pool to make sure they’re safe and that they’re not swallowing too much of the water in a short space of time.
Cooling jackets or mats help keep dogs comfortable in hot weather. Our canine companions tend to gravitate towards cold surfaces when they feel hot, and a cooling mat can help them regulate their body temperature while they’re at home.
Cooling jackets can provide longer-lasting coolness as most work on the same principle as panting or sweating as they transfer the heat from the dog's body to help cool them down.
If you’re struggling to get hold of any jackets or mats, as they always seem to fly off the shelves when the weather gets better, you could wet a kitchen cloth or towel, pop it in the freezer and then lay it out on the floor. If they’re comfortable with you doing so, you could also try loosely wrapping it around your dog like a bandana once it’s cool.
Another hack for those hot days that always seem to take us by surprise is to freeze a bottle of water for your pooch to rest their chin on while lounging.
If your dog likes to carry their favourite toys, you can pop these in the freezer too as an easy way to help cool them down. If not, why not try to make your own? All you need is some cooked rice and a clean sock with a tight tie at the end to stop the grains from falling out.
Giving your dog cold treats from the fridge, like carrots, sliced apples or other pooch-friendly foods, can help keep them cool. You can even try making some frozen treats; stuff a Kong with a dog-friendly snack, or freeze a treat puzzle, to help keep your dog stimulated but without letting them get over-exerted in the hot weather.
Sprinklers aren’t just good for helping your grass grow and recover from the sun’s relentless rays, they’re also a great way for our canine companions to cool down on a hot summer’s day. If your dog isn’t scared of the water, of course. If they’re not too keen, why not join in on the fun and encourage your dog to run through the sprays?
Buy a fan
It’s the same every year, isn’t it? We’re surprised by a heatwave and head to the shops to buy a fan to help keep us cool at home. Only when we get there, it seems that everyone else has had the same idea and they’re all sold out!
Fans can really help keep our dogs, and everyone else, cool at home. If you’re concerned your fan is simply circulating the warm air that’s already around you, try putting some frozen water bottles in front of it to get an extra cool breeze during those hotter days.
If really aren’t able to get hold of a fan, you may want to consider closing your curtains and blinds. While it does mean you can’t enjoy the lovely summer’s view, shutting out the rays during peak sunlight hours on windows that face the sun can really help to keep your home (and everyone in it!) cool. Opening your windows (and doors if your pet is safe) in the cooler mornings and evenings can also help keep the temperature down in the house.
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