The weather in the UK in recent years has seen some unusually hot summer days and sometimes the hot weather can continue for very long periods that we just aren’t used to. Some people stay inside and try to keep cool whilst others are outside basking in the almost tropical weather, but what should we be doing to help our furry friends? Here are some ways to help keep your dog or puppy cool in the summer and during heatwaves:
Avoid Walking Dogs During the Hottest Part of the Day
If possible it’s best to walk dogs before 8.00 and after 17.00 when the weather is cooler. This will also help protect their paws as road surfaces will have cooled down. If you have a local walk that involves water that dogs are allowed to swim in, that can also be great to help keep them cool and refreshed! It’s also important to make sure your furry friend is wearing a suitable collar and ID tag and try to avoid using bulky harnesses that can increase body temperature. It goes without saying that your furry friend doesn’t need to be wearing unnecessary coats or clothes during the summer!
Our beautiful friend @Lolalittledash cooling down at the beach in her 'Desroches' multicolured miniature dog collar.
Don’t Let Dogs Sit in the Sun All Day
Most dogs love lying around in the sun, but try not to let them sit outside for long periods in strong sun and make sure you are aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs, which can include excessive panting, extreme salivation, distress and collapse – if you see any of these signs consult your vet. Make sure dogs have a nice cool room in the house to retreat to – sometimes it can help to close curtains in a room to help keep it cool.
Keep Your Dog Well Groomed & Look After Their Skin
Regular brushing can help get rid of any excess hair from your dogs coat and as a result will help them to keep cool and you’ll probably see less hair on your floor and soft furnishings too! If your dog has a long coat, it’s worth keeping it trimmed during the summer months, as this will also help to keep them cool. If your dog has any exposed skin, such as on the tips of the ears or nose, it’s also worth considering using a pet-safe SPF sun cream – if you are unsure which products are suitable you can consult your vet first.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Water is so important in the summer months and luckily most dogs love water so it shouldn’t be hard to help keep them hydrated. Just make sure there is an adequate supply of clean and fresh water in a few different places around the house and invest in a portable collapsible dog water bowl to take on walks – just don’t forget to take a bottle of water with you too!
Dog slurping station spotted in London to help keep dogs hydrated.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
Everyone should already know this one, but please please please never leave your dog in the car! This also includes other enclosed and exposed places such as caravans and conservatories. The RSPCA outlines that even when it’s only 22 degrees outside, the inside of a car can quickly rise to 47 degrees within an hour and that can result in death. The RSPCA also advises that if you see a dog in a hot car showing signs of heatstroke you should call 999. For more information please see the RSPCA website.
Fun Ways To Help Keep Your Dog Cool
Consider getting your dog their very own paddling pool for the summer. Most dogs love water and this can be a fun way to help them cool down – no swimming costumes required, just make sure you have a towel handy to dry them off before they come back in the house! Making ice cubes to put in their water bowl or making ice lollies for them to lick can also be great fun. If you’re making ice lollies consider adding a few of their favourite treats into the water to give them some incentive and make it more fun!
For further information on keeping your dog cool please see these helpful websites:
If your furry friend is a cat, you don't need to feel left out because we wrote a post about how to keep your cat cool in the summer here.