Keeping Your Dog Cool in the Summer Months
Keeping your dog cool in hot weather is so important to reduce the risk of your dog suffering from heatstroke. To help you stay on top of things, we've put together our top summer dog care tips, so you can enjoy the summer months with your best friend safely.
1. KEEPING YOUR DOG COOL!
Set up a shaded area in the garden and make sure that they have access to water at all times. You could even get a paddling pool for them to splash around in and have some fun! If you don't have a garden, make sure that if you do have to go outside, then you are in a shaded area at all times. Some types of dog are more prone to heatstroke, like very old or young dogs, dogs with thick, heavy coats or dogs with very short flat faces like pugs and bulldog types. Dogs with certain diseases or on some types of medication are also more at risk.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- A staring or anxious expression
- Failure to respond to commands
- Warm, dry skin
- Extremely high temperature
- Rapid heartbeat
2. NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN YOUR VEHICLE
Even if you are nipping to the shops, this is an absolute no, no! It takes minutes for a dog to overheat. This can prove fatal. Leaving your dog in a car in the heat of summer even with windows open is like sitting in a greenhouse, it is dangerous for your dog. If you see a dog in a car during the summer months and it appears to be distressed, it could be at risk of internal organ failure and loss of consciousness. Dial 999 immediately.
3. ACCESS TO WATER
If you're heading out for the day, then make sure that you are carrying a supply of water and a bowl for your dog to drink from. Make sure you are making good use of the shade. Signs of overheating with dogs are excessive panting and loss of consciousness. If your dog is showing any of these signs, then place him in a shaded area and call the vet immediately. Don't allow your dog to run around in the same way that he would during a normal day. As tempting as it might be to take your dog everywhere with you outside during the summer, it is better for them to be calmer and more comfortable at home in the house, where it is much cooler.
4. AVOID PEAK HEAT TIMES
Generally it is much better to walk your dog before 8am in the morning and after 8pm at night. During these times, there is less risk of your dog walking in extreme heat because the sun will not be at it's hottest. The other thing to consider is your dog's paws on hot sand or tarmac. Test the surface with the back of your hand before walking your dog on it. It it's too hot for your hand, it will be too hot for your dogs paws!
5. COOLING MATS FOR DOGS
These are an amazing way to help keep your dog cool in the summer. They work by drawing the heat out from a dogs body, much the same as humans do when they sweat. Cooling mats with gel inside can be great to place in the refrigerator so that they provide instant relief for dogs.
Unlike regular mats, they have cooling properties that come thanks to special materials such as cooling gel, cooling fabric, and breathable mesh. On the other hand, due to special setups off-the-ground designs to increase airflow. Therefore, the mats can deliver the following benefits:
- Regulate the temperature of your dog especially when it is hot
- Allow your dog to cool down after an intense exercise/training/play session
- Combat the stress and anxiety of your dog by bringing it a comfortable and cool place to lay down when necessary
- Prevent overheating and heatstroke
- Promote optimal sleep quality