How to help your dog cope with the summer heat

11070802_10205945738387396_1416803899643248990_n-300x169 How to help your dog cope with the summer heatThe arrival of the summer sunshine can bring lots of fun times outside with your pet, but as the temperature rises, you need to take certain actions to keep them safe. Whether it’s playing out in the garden, a ride in your car or a walk to the park, the excessive heat can have an impact on your dog. Here are my suggestions for keeping your much-loved doggy pals safe.

Dogs and cars

Never, no matter what the reason, NEVER leave your pet in your car, even if only for a few minutes. It can be scorching hot sunshine outside, but the temperatures will be even higher inside the car, even with the window left ajar. If your dog can’t go with you, leave him at home.

Here at Finchley Dog Walker, we do not use cars when we pick up and drop off dogs in our care.

Keep the house cool

If you need to leave your dog “home alone”, make sure he has a cool place to rest and sleep. If need be, close the curtains and turn on a cool air fan. Your dog will cool himself by panting, so the best way to relieve overheating is to provide cooler air. Your dog will not sweat like you do when he is excessively hot.

Keep cool when exercising.

Limit your dog walking times, especially in the heat of midday. Try to schedule your exercise periods for early hours of the morning or later evening, and of course, make sure you carry sufficient cool water for both you and your dog.

Hot pavements

Before you set off on your walk, bend down and feel how hot the pavement is with your hand. If it’s too hot to the touch for you, it’s far too hot for your dog’s sensitive paws. Keep to grassy verges and well away from the tarmac roads…  You can read more about Dog and Pavements where

Stay cool in the garden.

Don’t allow your dog to be outside in the sunshine for long periods. If he does like to be in the garden or yard, offer him plenty of cool fresh water, with added ice cubes to keep him cool for longer, and make sure he has plenty of shade. A dog kennel or wooden house can trap the heat, making it even more uncomfortable for him. Have some fun with a sprinkler attached to your garden hose, or fill a kiddie’s plastic paddling pool with cool water.

A fresh supply of cool drinking water

Always ensure your dog has access to cool drinking water when at home, as he isn’t able to cool down his body as you can, making him more susceptible to heatstroke. Take a thermos flask filled with cool water and ice cubes if you go for a walk, and remember to take along a lightweight bowl for your dog to drink from too. Staying hydrated and cool is very important in hot weather.

A visit to the beach

All dogs love to run along the sand and into the surf, but always ensure you have adequate shade plus plenty of clean fresh water. If he likes to swim in the sea, remember to wash off the salty sea water as soon as you can. Remember too that not all dogs are capable swimmers, and they too can drown in deep water.

Keep cool with frozen dog treats.

There are many recipes available for home-made dog treats, but to keep your dog cool, try freezing fruit such as banana mixed with peanut butter and yoghurt in ice cube trays, or try making a huge ice cube that will keep your dog occupied and cool for hours by freezing berries, peanut butter, flax seeds and water in a silicone cake tin, then tip out when frozen, to make a huge popsicle.  Ou article on healthy summer treats for dogs has some further ideas.

Signs of your dog overheating

Your dog won’t be able to let you know when he’s feeling the effects of heatstroke, so keep an eye open for the following symptoms, and if need be, get him to your Vet as soon as possible for treatment:

  • Panting heavily
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Signs of weakness or dizziness
  • May become easily agitated

While summertime means lots of activities and fun for you and your pet, there are also potential dangers lurking, so be aware and take sensible precautions to enjoy this sizzling summer.