Summer’s here! Hurrah hooray!
It’s all too tempting to rush outside and play, but did you know dogs can feel the heat too?
They don’t ‘sweat’ like us humans. And they can’t wear flip flops to protect their adorable little paws either. Just as they rely on us for food and shelter, they rely on us to take care of them in hot weather too. Here are a few tips for a safe and happy dog on hot days.
Don’t leave your dog in a car
This one should be a given. Temperatures in cars rise very quickly, so leaving a window open or using a windshield screen isn’t enough. If it’s 22 degrees outside, within an hour it can be a sweltering 47 degrees inside your car (source – RSPCA). The same applies to conservatories or caravans.
Many dogs die of heatstroke each year. Symptoms are heavy panting; profuse salivation; a rapid pulse; very red gums/tongue; lethargy; lack of coordination; reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing; vomiting; diarrhoea; loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances – please don’t let yours be one of them.
Feel the heat!
Where possible, go for walks early morning or evening and try to avoid walking in the mid-day sun. Pavements absorb heat so test it with the back of your hand before setting off – if it’s too hot for you to touch, it’s too hot for a dog’s foot. Grass and dirt tracks may be cooler under foot – a perfect excuse for exploring different areas and finding new smells!
Always keep a fresh supply of water available. A dog will try to drink anything if they’re thirsty. When out on a walk, take some water and a drinking bowl with you. We tried the plastic one with the water bottle attached, but it was too bulky and leaked – now we just take a foldable waterproof fabric water bowl – we like this one (no, we’re not sponsored, we just use something similar!) which can be zipped up and takes up hardly any space and just use the water from the bottle we take for us too!
Listen to Baz Lurman – wear sunscreen!
This applies to dogs as much as humans, especially if your dog has a light coloured nose or ears. Please don’t use human sunscreen though – this contains Zinc Oxide which is toxic for dogs. There are brands of sunscreen specifically created for dogs (like this one), and they come in spray bottles, as sticks or handy wipes – we carry them in our walks bag so we’re ready for anything.
What are YOUR top tips for keeping your dog cool on hot days?
We’d love to hear from you.