How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Summer
Oct 27, 2023
As the summer months approach in the UK, it’s crucial for dog owners to be prepared to help their canine companions beat the heat. In this guide, we delve into the strategies that can aid in keeping your dog cool and preventing heat-related illnesses.
Recognising Heat Stress
Before diving into the preventive strategies, it is vital to understand how to recognise signs of heat stress in your dog.
- Heavy panting and drooling: These are often the initial signs of heat stress.
- Lethargy and dizziness: If your dog seems unusually tired and has trouble standing, it could be experiencing heat stress.
Actions to Take
- Cooling down: Immediately move your dog to a cooler environment and apply cool (not cold) water to its fur.
- Veterinary assistance: If the symptoms persist, seek veterinary assistance promptly.
Hydration is Key
Ensuring that your dog remains well-hydrated is a cornerstone in preventing heat-related issues.
Fresh Water Supply
- Constant supply: Ensure that fresh and cool water is available at all times.
- Portable water bottles: Carry portable dog water bottles during walks to keep your dog hydrated on the go.
- Ice cubes: Consider adding a few ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl to keep the water cool.
- Hydrating treats: Offer hydrating treats such as watermelon (in moderation) to aid in hydration.
Investing in cooling products can be a lifesaver during the scorching summer months.
- Usage: Cooling mats can offer a cool spot for your dog to lie on during hot days.
- Precautions: Ensure that the mat is puncture-resistant to prevent leakage of the cooling gel.
- Functionality: Cooling vests can help in reducing the body temperature of your dog during walks.
Fit: Ensure that the vest fits well without being too tight or too loose.
Adapting summer activities can help in ensuring the safety and well-being of your dog.
Morning and Evening Walks
- Timing: Opt for morning and evening walks to avoid the peak heat hours.
- Pavement test: Conduct the pavement test by placing your hand on the pavement; if it's too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
- Paddling pools: Setting up a paddling pool can offer a fun and cool retreat for your dog.
- Sprinklers: Letting your dog play under a sprinkler can be a refreshing activity.
Indoor Cooling Tips
Keeping your home cool can aid in providing a comfortable environment for your dog.
- Cross-ventilation: Ensure proper cross-ventilation in your home to allow cool air to circulate.
- Fans: Set up fans in strategic locations to facilitate cooling.
Cool and Dark Spaces
- Cool flooring: Allow access to cool flooring such as tiles for your dog to lie on.
- Darkened rooms: Keeping the rooms dark can help in reducing the indoor temperature.
Q: Can I shave my dog’s coat to keep it cool?
A: While trimming the fur can help, shaving it off completely is not recommended as the coat also protects against sunburn.
Q: How often should I offer water to my dog during summer?
A: Ensure a constant supply of fresh and cool water, encouraging your dog to drink frequently.
Q: Can I walk my dog during the day in summer?
A: It is best to avoid daytime walks, especially during peak heat hours, to prevent heat stress and burnt paws.
As summer descends upon the UK, dog owners must be vigilant to ensure the well-being of their furry friends. Recognising the signs of heat stress and ensuring proper hydration are vital steps in preventing heat-related illnesses. Moreover, incorporating cooling products and adapting summer activities can go a long way in keeping your dog cool and happy. Follow this guide to offer a cool and comfortable summer to your canine companion.