Keep your dog safe in this summer heat!
Summer is here at last! The hot weather and glorious sunshine means we all spend more time outdoors. As a dog owner, you need to take extra care to ensure your doggy friend is well protected from the heat. Try not to take your daily walk at midday in the heat of the sun – an early morning or late evening walk is much more comfortable for your dog, and you too. Take along a bottle of water and a bowl for a mid-walk drink for your dog.
Sunburn, overheating and sunstroke
Just like us humans, dogs are also susceptible to sunburn. Apply sun cream to his ears, nose and exposed areas. Keep a vigilant eye open for symptoms of overheating too – weakness, confusion, vomiting and diarrhoea, hyperventilation or excessive panting. Cool him down as quickly as you can by letting him stand on damp towels or cool mats. Don’t cover him with a wet towel, as this can act as a sauna. Its best to make sure your dog stays in the shade outside, and always ensure that he has a good supply of fresh, cool water.
Dogs and Cars
Of course its common sense not to leave your dog in a car in this excessive heat, even with the windows open. Take care when travelling with your dog in the car too, as they find it much harder than us to cool down. Remember too, that conservatories in the sun can quickly become like an oven, so never leave your dog in the sun room when you go out.
Hot and bothered
You know how we sometimes feel in the heat, agitated and a bit grumpy? Your dog may feel this way too, so when you’re interacting with your dog, take this into account if he’s a bit irritable. No matter how docile your dog usually is, take care when children are running around the garden or park.
Consider that if your dog has long hair, he will be suffering from overheating too. A dog cannot sweat to regulate his body temperature, so he will pant to cool down. Some older dogs, overweight and short nose breeds will also suffer more in the heat of the day.
Before you take your dog for a walk on hot pavements or tarmac roads, test how hot these are with the back of your hand before allowing your dog to stroll on them. It’s very easy for them to burn their paw pads. Wherever possible, walk them on grassy areas.
The majority of dogs love messing about with water, and on a hot day can become a welcome distraction. A dog paddling pool is great fun, however if your dog is anxious at first, place some of his toys in the water to encourage him to get in. A hose pipe with a lawn sprinkler is also an excellent idea for cooling down your doggy pals.
Be cautious as you have fun, and enjoy the fantastic weather!