With temperatures on the rise, it’s time to think about protecting your best furry friend from the heat. Just like us, dogs can suffer from heatstroke, so we’ve put together our list of top tips to help keep your dog cool, safe and happy this summer.
1. Avoid the hottest time of the day
Consider changing up your walking routine by taking your dog for an early morning stroll – avoiding the midday sun. They might also enjoy an evening stroll with a stop off at a dog-friendly pub along the way!
2. Protect Those Paws!
The Kennel Club has a fantastic article about avoiding pavements during walks on hot days as they can lead to blisters and burns to paws. You can always test the pavements by putting the back of your hand on the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!
Wiping your dog’s pads with a wet cloth can also help to cool them down.
3. Keep Hydrated
Keep several bowls of cool, fresh water in different rooms at all times and monitor how much your dog is drinking so the risk of bloat doesn’t increase. To keep a bowl cooler for longer, you could pop it in the freezer first for a couple of hours before filling with fresh water.
4. Cooling Vests
Consider buying a special doggy cooling vest or jacket to keep your best furry friend comfortable or a cooling mat to lie on instead of their normal bed. All you need to do is thoroughly wet the vest, wring out excess water and you’re good to go with waggy tails all round! We really recommend the selection at Pets At Home.
5. Cool In A Pool
If your dog is anything like our Pet Inspector Kiki, then they will simply adore splashing around in any water. Not just for cute little Norfolk Terriers like Kiki to play around in, paddling pools come in all shapes and sizes for the garden. Your doggy will love splashing about in the sun (or treating it like a giant water bowl!)
6. Dogs In Cars
Never leave your dog in a car unattended in hot weather, in conservatories or any small hot rooms even for a short time. Their temperature can quickly rise and this can be fatal within a short time between 5 – 10 minutes.
The RSPCA has some very good advice about what to do if you do see a dog in a hot car unattended.
7. On Journeys
Be sure to carry plenty of cool, clean water and a collapsible water bowl in the car, even for very short journeys.
Never tie your dog up outside a shop or supermarket as the angle of the sun might change, leaving your dog exposed to the heat.
9. Cool Their Chest
On a hot day, a nice damp or wet towel held underneath on your dog’s chest and underbelly will cool them down. To cool down quickly, also place the wet towel on the inside of their thighs. This is where the femoral artery is and cools the blood more efficiently. Avoid covering your dog with a towel on their top coat because they will require air circulation to help them cool down.
10. Sun Cream
Use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your dog’s skin. Like humans, some dogs burn more easily than others and may need some sun cream to keep them comfortable and healthy.
11. Sea Water
On a dog-friendly holiday by the coast, don’t let your dog drink too much water from the sea as this can rapidly dehydrate them.
For more beach safety advice, check out this article on how to keep your dog beach safe this summer!
Book your dog in for a groom well in advance and also consider a follow up tidy up to keep their coat nice and short for the summer months. This will eliminate the risk of matter fur which can lead to overrheating.
If you find you have to groom at home, we asked Gaynor who is a dog groomer as well as owner of popular blog ‘Four-Legged Foodies’ and Two Terriers Social Club, to share with us how she grooms her Norfolk Terrier, Archie, from the comfort of her own home.
13. Travel And Commuting
Where possible avoid travel on trains or public transport during busy periods. If you can, leave super early or later to avoid this. Luckily, with the recent rise in dog ownership, many workplaces are flexible and understanding of this now. If you do have to travel on the tube – again bring water and a collapsable bowl.
Don’t forget to open windows and/ or use a fan to circulate air in the room.
Dogs may still want to play and not show any signs of overheating initially, but it’s important to avoid energetic energy such ad running, chasing frisbees, balls and other dogs.
What Do The Experts Say?
Our friends at Pawsquad have kindly shared some advice with the PetsPyjamas Pack on the signs to look out for if you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke.
Remember, Pawsquad Vet Line is FREE when booking with PetsPyjamas. The above are some things you can do, but if you are ever in doubt, you can talk to one of their Vets in seconds in the app or online.