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The 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. Excessive heat can impact your dog, whether playing out in the garden, riding in your car, or walking to the park. Here are my suggestions for keeping your much-loved doggy pals safe.
Dogs and cars
Never, no matter the reason, NEVER leave your pet in your car, even if only for a few minutes. It can be scorching sunshine outside, but the temperatures will be even higher inside the vehicle, even with the window left ajar. If your dog can’t go with you, leave him at home.
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 necessary, 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.
Try to schedule your exercise periods for the early hours of the morning or later evening, and of course, make sure you carry sufficient cool water for both you and your dog.
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 in the sunshine for long periods. If he likes 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 ensure he has plenty of shade. A dog kennel or wooden house can trap the heat, making it even more uncomfortable for him. Have fun with a sprinkler attached to your garden hose, or fill a kiddie’s plastic paddling pool with cool water.
As much as we love the convenience of fake grass, it’s important to be aware of its potential dangers for our furry friends. Specifically, dogs can be negatively affected by the chemicals used in some types of synthetic grass, which can cause a range of health issues, such as skin irritation and respiratory problems. Additionally, artificial grass can become very hot in the sun and may burn your dog’s paws, leading to discomfort and potential injury. So, before you make the switch to artificial grass, please make sure you do your research and invest in a high-quality product that is specifically designed for pet use. Your four-legged friend’s health and happiness should always come first!
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 for both dogs and humans.
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 possible. Remember that not all dogs are capable swimmers and 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. Our article on healthy summer treats for dogs has some other 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.
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