Summer is here! Well, as summery as it can get in England that is. It’s been a ‘woof’ few months and going on holiday hasn’t been on the cards for most. But the sun still beams down most days and we can experience holiday heat at home. Most of us will be reaching for the sandals, but what about your panting pooch? Dogs and other animals don’t do so well in blaring heat like we do. So what can we do to help our furry friends? Here are the best ways to keep your dog cool on hot days.
Avoid taking your dog out for a car ride as much as possible on hot days. If you are going anywhere where you may need to leave your dog in the car for any amount of time, even a few minutes, don’t. Try to keep your dog cool on hot days. Dogs are very susceptible to heatstroke and catch it much easier than humans can. Even if you crack a window and park the car out of direct sunlight, dogs can still catch heatstroke in a matter of minutes! Our padded paw friends can only sweat out of their paws. This is one of the only ways they release the heat, as well as panting to cool themselves down. Heatstroke is recognizable by signs such as; heavy panting, red gums, wobbliness when standing and dribbling.
If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog
Walkies! As much as your pooch likes going on his walks, the heat can be dangerous if you are walking on sand, pavements or roads. The pads on the bottom of a dog’s feet are not as strong as the rubber on the soles of our shoes. On hot days they can burn very easily. So you may ask, “how do I know when the ground is too hot for my dog?” “How do i keep my dog cool on hot days?” Easy! Just ask yourself, would you go for a long walk with bare feet on the ground? You can test the temperature by placing the back of your hand to the floor and testing the temperature. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pooch! Keep some water on you for your dog during your walk.
Back from a long walk in the glorious sunshine? Ready to cool down with an ice lolly? Your dog doesn’t have to miss out on this opportunity. Try giving your dog a few ice cubes to lick, this will help cool him down. If he doesn’t take to those, there’s no harm in freezing his favorite chew toy and cooling him down that way. Your dog may also like to join you for a dip in the backyard. A good way to keep your dog cool in the summertime is to have a little paddling pool in the garden for your dog to laze around.
Keep your dogs inside! In super warm weather dogs can overheat very easily. Keeping your dog inside at peak times is a good way to ensure your dogs safety. This doesn’t mean you and your paw pal can’t go for a walk! Peak sun times are between 11am and 3pm, this is when the sun is the most intense. If you are someone who works several hours and doesn’t like the dog to be stuck inside, it is fine to let them play out. Provided they have plenty of access to shade or shelter throughout the entire day, as well as access to lots of fresh water and their favorite treats.
Can I exercise my dog in the heat? Your dog still needs to get his daily exercise and walks are still a perfect way to do this. If you are someone who enjoys running or cycling with your dog, it is best to avoid these activities in the scorching heat. Normal walks are fine, as long as the floor is cool enough for their paws.
If you think you’re missing a trick here, no problem! Swimming is also an excellent way to exercise your pooch, and keep them cool on hot days at the same time! If your dog has a light colour fur make sure to watch out for sunburn when you’re out and about, especially on the dogs ears, nose and soft skin. Sunburn can lead to nasty blisters, itching and even skin cancer in your pooch. You can use non-toxic waterproof human sun cream on your dog to help them if you don’t have dog sun cream, which you can purchase from pet shops.
Speaking of itching, summer time means flea time! Fleas and ticks are very active in the summer months. They will jump at any opportunity to nibble on your furry friends. Flea bites are mostly just an itchy scratchy annoyance. But, if your dog is allergic to the bites, more serious damage can be caused. You must treat the bites at home with treatments that come directly from your vet. These need applying multiple times to get rid of the little buggers. Ticks are not the same as fleas they are nasty egg looking creatures that get stuck to your dog after a happy day of running in the long grass, a good way to ruin your dog’s day.
Ticks work by burying their heads under the dogs skin, making them incredibly tricky to remove. There is a way though. Pet shops sell tick removing tools making the job easier for you. If you’re already confident and your pooch is giving you those “help me” puppy dog eyes, then gripping and twisting the tick with your fingers can also do the trick. Make sure to not pull, as pulling can result in the head staying under your dogs skin.
Ticks can carry diseases. It is very important you get them out as soon as possible to avoid them affecting your pet. Lyme disease is a common disease caught from a tick bite, not just for your dog, but for you too!
To protect your dog, ensure you do a tick treatment to stop them catching the nasty disease. Make sure to look after yourself and your dog as they aren’t picky. You can protect yourself by staying away from areas with lots of sheep and make sure to wear long sleeves. Tucking your trousers into socks helps you avoid ticks if you’re likely to go for a hike in the hills.
Sticking to the trend of at home haircuts, your dog also needs a trim! If you have a long-haired pooch, make sure to groom them often removing any mattes or tangles in their fur. In the summer months fresh and tangle free fur will help keep your pet nice and cool on hot days. If your dog is going deep sea diving alongside you, remember rinse the salt water out of your pets fur. Salt can dry out their skin and cause irritation, leaving your pup itching for hours!
That is all we have for you for the moment. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your pooch!