When Summer rolls around, thoughts turn to ways to make the most of the longer days. But hot weather isn’t always your dog’s friend, in fact for some dogs it’s dangerous.
My oldest dog, Mia is 11 years old and in the last two years she has struggled to handle the hot weather and we battle to stop her developing heat stroke during peak times. In researching how to help her, I discovered she falls into two categories of dogs who suffer in the heat – dark furred and older. Other dogs who are likely to suffer include dogs with longer coats, young dogs, and short nosed dog breeds who suffer from Brachycephalic syndrome. Here are ways you can help your dog, regardless of breed or age, cope with the warmer weather:
1. Make Sure Your Dog Has Access To A Cool Room
Your dog is likely to be a smart cookie, they’ll know where the coolest place in your home to rest is. Give them access to sleep there during the day and night, by sleeping they can regulate their temperature. The reason it is so important for a dog’s temperature to be regulated is to help them avoid hypothermia, which can lead to heat stroke because the dog’s temperature has increased and the body cannot regulate. All of this can impact on how a dog’s body and organs function.
2. Invest In A Sprinkler Or Paddling Pool
We’ve all seen the videos across social media and YouTube with dogs having a ball with a sprinkler or paddling pool, if your garden allows and you think your dog will safely enjoy, go for it! The important thing to remember with either is that they will dampen your dog’s coat keeping them cool. If you don’t have either and don’t have the space available, I recommend dampening a towel and running it across your dog’s back and under their belly.
3. Go For A Morning Walk
It is wise to avoid walking at peak times of the day and remember pavements will always be hotter for your dog’s pads than your own feet. Dogs can easily burn their paws when too hot. Some experts also advise gentle exercise only. By restricting what your dog does, you minimize the risk of heat exhaustion. Always take a fresh supply of water with you, even if you only intend to take a gentle stroll. The effects of heat stroke can take over quite quickly, prevention is always better than the cure.
4. Stock Up On Frozen Dog Treats Or Make Your Own!
When your dog isn’t drinking enough to cope with the rise in temperature, give her frozen vegetables, such as broccoli, which are packed with lots of vitamins and goodness. Also make treats on your own. Take some stock, chicken or similar, mix with hot water and stir until fully mixed or the stock cube is fully dissolved. Pour into silicon containers, add a meaty or vegetable treat in the middle of each ice cube/shape (depending on your container type) and freeze. It’s a great way to make sure your dog takes in extra water.
5. Take A Trip To The Groomers
We don’t always get advanced warning of hot spells, but if you can and you own a longer coated dog book him into the groomers for a summer cut. The cut should never be so short that you see your dog’s skin – this can bring about a host of problems for light coated dogs, such as sun burn.
6. Know Your Dog And Her Ways
One of the biggest ways to help your dog is by understanding her normal reaction to certain things. For example, if your dog loves sun and take herself off into the garden often, find something she equally loves say food to distract her or bring her inside without delay.
7. Never Leave Your Dog In A Car
It may sound obvious but every year dogs die because their owners left them in a hot car while they ran errands, even for only a few minutes. Please, never leave your dog in a car. Your car will effectively become a greenhouse and can reach temperatures of 140 degrees with no trouble at all and your dog will suffer. Leave your dog at home with fresh water in a cool room to rest and relax in peace indoors.
If I’ve missed your own fail-safe tips out, please comment and share! I’d love to hear from you.