Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer
Prevent Your Dog From Overheating
Finally, summer seems to be making an appearance here in the UK. It got us thinking, what other precautions can we take to prevent our furry friends from overheating?
The thing is, dogs lose heat by panting. They don’t sweat like we do. Certain dogs are more susceptible to heat, like short nosed or flatter faced breeds, the pug for example. Older and overweight dogs are also at higher risk.
Dogs become susceptible to overheating and heat stroke which is a life threatening condition. Other heat related injuries include sunburn and burns on their paw pads.
Something we must never forget is – don’t leave a dog in a hot car. Ever. Not even for a short time. A dog can succumb to heatstroke within minutes.
Signs of heat stroke in dogs include drooling, excessive panting, red gums, diarrhoea, vomiting, collapse and loss of consciousness.
What Can Dog Owners do to Keep Our Pet Cool?
Let’s start with travelling. If you need to drive your dog somewhere, travel in the early morning if possible. Use air conditioning or open windows, carry plenty of water and consider a cool mat for them to sit on. A collapsible water bowl might be a handy addition too .
The same advice goes for exercising your dog. Try and walk him in the cooler parts of the day, early morning or late evening. This will help keep him cool but also prevent burns to his paw pads. If the tarmac is too hot for your hands, it is too hot for his paws.
In summer, the kids love a paddling pool. The same can be said for our furry companions. Consider taking your dog for a swim or getting him a paddling pool to lie in . If you do take your dog to the beach, be aware of the risks of the tide and also the exposure of a beach – there may not be much chance for shade. Our lab loved swimming in the sea, but not all dogs do. A pool may be preferable!
Other tips for keeping your pooch cool are ensuring plenty of fresh drinking water – you can add ice cubes to the dish which our dogs really loved. Ensure they have access to shade and well ventilated areas.
To avoid sunburn, you can cover your dog in a t-shirt or special UV protective dog vest, and specialised dog sun screens are available if you are not sure about using your human versions.
Keeping your dog cool is paramount, but simple measures are very effective. There are plenty of products on the market today to help keep our beloved pets cool and comfortable all summer long, and give us extra peace of mind.