Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer
The summer sun is lifting all of our spirits here at River Dogs, and I’m sure that we’re not the only ones who are taking full advantage of the weather by relaxing in the garden and going on long walks in the countryside. For dog owners, sunny days are a great chance to go out and play together in the sun or go for a long drive to your favourite spot by the lake for a swim. But unlike humans, dogs can’t tell you when they’ve had enough heat. So here’s our short guide on Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer, so that you and your pooch can enjoy the weather and stay safe at the same time!
Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer
You might think that your dog could run and bound around forever, but they still feel fatigue and can overheat if they exercise too much in the sun. Heat stroke can be fatal to a dog, but the signs are there if you know how to look for them, meaning that you can do your bit to prevent your pooch from overheating. Your faithful friend won’t wave a white flag or call a taxi home when he or she has had enough of the sun, so here are a few signs that you should look out for the next time that you’re out on a long walk in the heat of the day.
- Do they have a high body temperature?
- Are they panting more than usual?
- Are they drooling excessively, and are their gums and tongue red or purple?
- Are their legs staggering, and is their heart racing when you touch their chest?
- Do they have glassy eyes or a fearful expression?
We’re not saying ‘don’t exercise your pet’ when it’s warm, but here are a few things that you can do to minimise heat stroke whilst keeping your dog cool this summer.
- NEVER leave your dog in a hot car for long periods of time. We’ve seen policemen breaking into cars recently to save trapped dogs, and its a mistake that no one should be making. A dog’s internal temperature is 38.5, and cars can easily pass that temperature inside when all of the windows are shut. If you’re going somewhere where you can’t take your dog then leave him or her at home, or bring a friend so that they can hold them outside or take them for a walk.
- Ensure drinking water and shaded areas are available. Take a flask and a small bowl with you so that you can stop for regular drink breaks in a shaded area to cool down. If your dog is drinking then it might remind you to stay hydrated too. Keeping your dog cool this summer doesn’t seem so hard after all!
- Spray with cool water. Ever been for a walk in the sun with a thick wooly jumper? For some dogs their fur can be their worst enemy in the heat. Take a little spray bottle with you and keep them cool by giving them a quick spritz every now and again.
- Restrict exercise and walk at cooler parts of the day. Dogs will keep on walking, running or playing for as long as you do, so its up to you to set some boundaries to keep them safe. Increase the amount of lead walking that you do when it’s really hot and go on a smaller walk than you might normally do. You could always consider changing your pattern around so that you head out in the evening for an extra walk when it’s a little cooler too.
One other thing to think about when keeping your dog cool this summer is your dog’s paws. They take a bit of a beating, especially when they’re away running off the beaten track, but a dog’s paws can easily burn on a hot surface. Pavements and tarmac soak up the suns rays and store heat which you might not necessarily feel through your own shoes.
Look at your dog’s paw pads regular for any signs of damage, and if you’re unsure about any surfaces just test them with the back of your hand for a few seconds – if it’s too hot for you then it’s too hot for your dog.
If you have any concerns about your dog’s health this summer then contact your Veterinary Clinic’s out of hours service line immediately. You’re not being a nuisance, you’re just looking after your pet.
Thanks for reading our guide on keeping your dog cool this summer, and hopefully you’ve picked up a few tips that will help you to keep your furry friends happy and safe all summer long!