Keep Your Dog Cool In the Summer
Preparing and planning ahead is key to keeping your dog cool during hot weather. It’s important to prioritise your dog’s safety and wellbeing when the weather gets warmer. The goal is to minimise the risk of heatstroke to ensure that your dog remains healthy and content.
Hot weather can be particularly challenging for dogs as they are more susceptible to heatstroke than humans. This condition can have severe consequences as a dog’s body temperature rises, causing harm and potentially leading to organ failure. Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency and shockingly, 1 in 7 dogs that receive treatment at a veterinary clinic do not survive.
Which dogs are more at risk?
Although all dogs are susceptible to heatstroke, certain dogs are at higher risk than others. Studies have shown that dogs that fall into these following categories are more likely to develop heatstroke:
- Brachycephalic (Flat-faced)
- High energy
- Large breeds, especially over 50kg
- Long haired or thick-coated
- Pre-existing heart or respiratory issues
To help you enjoy summer weather while keeping your furry friend safe we’ve compiled our best tips for caring for your dog in hot weather!
Keeping your dog cool on walks
When walking your dog in hot weather, it’s essential to take measures to keep them cool and avoid heatstroke, which is commonly caused by exercise. You can :
- Walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or later in the evening to avoid midday heat.
- Always carry water and a suitable container for your dog to drink from.
- Consider using a walking harness instead of a collar to avoid pressure on their airways and allow for better cooling. Here at sure4pets to have a wide variety of cooling harnesses you can check out!
- Be cautious when exercising, a sick or dehydrated dog may have difficulty regulating their body temperature.
- Avoid hot pavements as it can burn your dog’s paw pads. If it’s too hot for you to place the back of your hand on, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.
Keeping your dog cool in the garden
Enjoying the garden with your furry companion on a hot day can be fun and relaxing. But, it poses many risks for your dog. To keep them cool you can :
- Provide a water bowl for your dog, both inside and outside the house. Place it in a shaded area to maintain its coolness.
- Provide a shaded area for your dog to rest and avoid direct sunlight.
- Offer a paddling pool for your dog to splash and cool down.
- Play with your dog using a hose or sprinkler.
- Keep your dog away from hot greenhouses, as they can be incredibly warm even when the door is open.
- Treat your dog to frozen treats such as bone broths and frozen raw meaty bones to help regulate their body temperature.
How to keep your dog cool during long car journeys
Long car journeys can be tiring for both you and your dog, especially in hot weather! It’s important to take the following steps :
- Never leave your dog in the car alone, it can quickly become a hot and dangerous environment.
- Take regular breaks to check on your dog and provide them with fresh, cool water. You can do this by carrying a thermos with cool water.
- Use air conditioning
- Use window sunshades to reflect the sun rays and maintain a cooler interior temperature.
- If using public transport, avoid travelling on hot days or verify that the transport has air conditioning.
- Ensure all destinations you plan to visit are dog-friendly and allow your furry friend to accompany you.
Keeping your dog cool at home
Although you may think your home is a safe space and the chances of heatstroke are low, think again. Be sure to :
- Provide your dog with access to plenty of fresh water
- Add ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl to keep the water cooler for longer
- Freeze one of our Beco toys, which can be filled with bone broths, fresh water or raw mince which will act as a cool, tasty treat
- Consider trimming your dog’s coat if they have a long or heavy coat to help them stay cool
- Keep your dog out of hot conservatories or other areas of the house that can quickly overheat
- Avoid placing your dog’s bed or crate in direct sunlight, as this can also make them feel uncomfortable.
Signs of heatstroke
- Heavy panting, even when not exercising
- Breathing problems, particularly in flat-faced dogs
- Stiffness or an unwillingness to move
- Being sick, this can be bloody
- An upset stomach, this can be bloody
- Not walking in a straight line
If heatstroke was to occur, please do the following steps:
- Do NOT wrap your dog in a cold, wet towel. Instead, pour cool water onto their body. If you have access to a hosepipe, we recommend you take advantage of this.
- Move your dog into a cool, shaded area.
- If you have access to a fan, place it in front of your dog on a cool setting.
- To help relax the brain use Valerian and Vervain as a tonic.
- Seamoss and bone broths are great for remineralising the body and providing hydration.
These steps can be taken initially, please seek medical advice if the state of your dog does not change.