🐾How To Keep Your Dog Cool During The Heat🐾
Are dogs okay in hot weather?
A dog can overheat very quickly and you should always take steps to ensure that your dog is coping okay. Even at temperatures as low as 20 degrees Celsius, dogs are at risk of heatstroke, which can be fatal in as little as 15 minutes.
1. Adjust your walking routine
It may be tempting to head out for a nice long walk on a hot, sunny day, but this can carry risks for your dog.
Walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening when the ground is cooler. This will not only protect their paws but be more comfortable for them.
Hot pavements, asphalt and artificial grass can burn their paws and cause severe pain, even on short walks.
2. Know how to spot heatstroke
Heatstroke is one of the most common illnesses in dogs during warm weather and happens when your dog is no longer able to regulate their body temperature.
Symptoms include excessive panting and drooling, very red gums, vomiting or diarrhoea and weakness. If left unchecked, heatstroke can be fatal.
It’s important to keep an eye on your dog during hot weather to ensure they don’t overheat. Never leave them alone in a car, even with the windows open, and make sure they have plenty of shady spots in the garden and in the house to retreat to when things get too hot.
3. Apply dog-friendly sun cream
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from sunburn if they’re not properly protected. Breeds with short or white hair with pink ears are more at risk, so you need to be extra careful to shield them from the sun’s rays.
Applying dog-specific sun cream to the sensitive areas of your dog (nose, lips, tips of the ears and belly) and keeping them out of the sun during the hottest part of the day is essential.
4. Circulate cool air
Keep your home cool and comfortable by setting up a few fans in various rooms or, if you have it, air conditioning.
This will help prevent your dog from becoming too hot and give them a refreshing place to retreat to when they get too warm. Keeping curtains or blinds drawn will also minimise the amount of heat that comes through windows. If you have tiled floor, be aware that these too can get very hot if they’re in direct sunlight.
Remember to keep oscillating fans and exposed cables out of paws reach to keep your dog safe.
5. Keep them hydrated
Dogs need to drink plenty of water during warm weather to prevent dehydration. Providing lots of fresh, clean water is essential, whether at home, in the garden or out on walks.
There are lots of ways you can encourage your dog to drink more, including playing with garden sprinklers, making pet ice lollies and flavouring their drinking water. You may also want to invest in a travel water bowl or portable bottle to ensure they have something to drink while out and about. If you get really stuck, they’ll happily drink out of your hands.
6. Damp towels
Dogs cool themselves down from the bottom up, so it’s important that their paws and stomach don’t get too hot. Laying out damp towels or blankets for them to lie on is a simple, effective way to keep your dog cool in the heat.
Simply run the towel under a cold tap and wring out the excess water to create a portable cooling mat anywhere in your house or garden. Remember to refresh it regularly to maintain the effect.
You could also invest in a cool-mat, these are a great way for keeping your dog cool and are readily available online.
7. Provide shady spots
If your dog loves to play out in the garden, it’s important to ensure they have lots of shaded areas where they can relax away from the sun.
Shade created by trees is better than a dog house as it allows air to circulate freely. Be aware of how the sun moves throughout the day to ensure your dog always has a shady spot to sit in.
You could even set up a shaded, makeshift den with their water bowl, a damp towel or cool mat to sit on and their favourite toys, to encourage them to keep out of the hot sun.