The heat is on as the 80’s once told us, and it can be a tough time for our canine pals. Dogs lack sweat glands and can have difficulty in copying with extreme heat. We all know the simple rules like don’t leave them in locked cars, make sure they have plenty of water, but there are a number of precautions we can take, to take the heat of our best friends. So with the hottest July day on record just behind us, we thought it might be an idea to come up with a guide to keeping your dog as cool as a cat.
1. Pavements can heat up to incredible temperatures during the summer and it’s not uncommon for dogs to actually burn the pads of their feet. So where possible try to walk them on grass or in the shade.
2. Give them an ice lolly. No we haven’t gone mad and we’re not talking about a Cornetto, the sugar would be awful for them, but if you mix up a salt free (very important!) stock cube and freeze the mixture in your ice tray. These little beefy ice lollies are a real treat for hot dogs.
3. Know your breed. Some dogs like the Burmese Mountain dog, Alaskan Malamute and huskies use air circulation over their coats to regulate their temperature and should therefore not be trimmed for summer. Other dogs though, can benefit from a visit to the groomers. Schnauzers, Poodles and Labradoodles don’t naturally moult, so they can feel cooler with a summer cut. Ask your groomer if you’re in doubt.
4. Exercise them at different times. As our title might suggest, it would be better to avoid the midday sun and perhaps walk your pooch earlier in the morning or in the early evening when the temperature can be cooler.
5. Water water everywhere! This tip is not for everyone, some dogs just don’t like water except for drinking. You’ll know which kind your dog is, but for the rest paddling pools, garden hoses and super soakers can be a great way to keep cool and have fun.
6. Be aware of other people. The sun will bring more people to the park. Picnickers, whilst mostly conscientious, can leave rubbish behind which your dog will be able to smell from fifty yards away. Keep an eye out for hazards like chicken bones and broken glass, but it might be a good plan to keep your dog on shorter lead if they have a tendency to rummage.
So six tips for keeping our furry friends cool in the summer, and remember dogs lack the ability to tell us when they are suffering, so keep an eye on them Watch out for them struggling to walk on burnt pads, keep an eye out for excessive panting, always make sure you have clean water with you at all times and for god’s sake never leave them in the car.