We have had some unseasonably hot weather in the UK over recent months and many of us have been thinking of ways to keep our dogs cool. We often see stories, in the news, of dogs being left in hot cars which is so upsetting. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke in minutes. Our canine friends are not able to regulate their body temperature by sweating, like we do, so they rely on panting.
What are the signs of heatstroke in dogs?
Excessive panting, dribbling and collapse can be a sign of heatstroke. If you suspect heatstroke in your dog, move them out of the sun, into the shade, wet their coats with water (cool but not freezing) and call you vet immediately.
10 ideas to keep your dogs cool in the extreme heat.
1. Make sure your dog always has access to clean water. If you are leaving the dog at home, make sure their bowl is filled right up and maybe leave a second bowl as well. If you are going out on a walk, make sure you take water and a bowl for your dog.
2. On very hot days, try to walk your dog very early or very late when the temperatiure is cooler. As well as the risk of heatstroke in the midday sun, your dog is also likely to find the pavements very warm which, at best is very uncomfortable for your dog and, at worst can burn your pooches pads.
3. If it is too hot to walk your dog, try some positive enrichment games. There are some great ideas online, and we will be sharing some of our ideas in a blog very soon.
4. Never leave your dog alone in a car, even with water and the windows open – it is not safe for them.
5. Be very careful with short-nosed dogs like bull-breeds, older or very overweight dogs as heatstroke can be caused just by running around in the heat.
6. Grooming is very important all year round but more so in the hot months. Groom your dog regularly and, if you can, take it to a professional groomer for a clip.
7. Swimming is heaven for many dogs but please take the same precautions you would with children, be aware of currents etc and please ensure lakes, canals etc are clean enough for your dog to swim in. For instance, some places, like Frensham Ponds, sometimes have blue algae, which can be deadly for dogs so keep your eye out for signage, and if an area is closed off, please don’t risk it. If your dogs seems unwell after swimming, please contact your vet as water intoxication can be very dangerous
8. Try freezing your dogs favourite treats into ice-lollie moulds or popping some yummy treats into a Kong and freeze that.We would recommend staying with your dog while they enjoy these treats to ensure they don’t choke.
9. A doggie paddling pool can be enormous fun and a great way for your dog to cool down.Try to position this is a shady spot, or use an parasol to keep it nice and shady.If you use a paddling pool, clean and replace the water regularly
10. Cooling mats are also great for dogs. However, do avoid these if your dog is a “bed chewer” as they contain a gel to help keep them cool.
We hope you find this information useful, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Enjoy the Summer and stay safe!
Did you know that separation anxiety is very common in dogs? Most dogs are pretty social creatures and can get very lonely and distressed when they are left alone.
It’s also worth noting that any routine changes can affect your dog’s behaviour. During the lock-down, your dog is probably getting used to you being at home a lot more than normal and most dogs love it. However, what will happen when the restrictions on movement are lifted, and everything goes back normal, or “the new normal”?
An abrupt change in routine that may increase the time your dog is home alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety.
Your doggo probably won’t like it and will miss you a lot. He/she just got used to another routine, a much better one, so they won’t understand what has changed.
Dogs will show signs of separation anxiety in different ways but some of the signs are;
These behaviours do not usually occur in the presence of the owner and it is likely that they will probably happen within the first 30 minutes of being alone.
Even if you believe your dog is happy when left home alone you could always check for the hidden signs by filming your dog while you are away.
Ways to help your dog
It is really important that we never punish an anxious dog, even if the behaviour is annoying or frustrating (such as urinating in the house or chewing the furniture). It will not help and in fact, it will most likely make things worse as you raise the dogs anxiety and stress levels even more.
Here are some suggestions of ways to reduce their anxiety
After the quarantine, many dogs will be impacted by the changes in routine. They are used to have you at home all the time now. They will miss you and you will have a hard time leaving your dog home alone. Hopefully these tips will help but if you are concerned, please consider contacting a dog behaviourist for more personalised advice. We highly recommend Dog 999 which is run by our Founder, Rachael and her business partner Sam. Both have a lot of experience with lots of behavioural issues and have years of experience particularly with Rommies, who we know can be very sensitive little souls - Dog999
Limited walks can be frustrating for your dog at this time and so one of our volunteers, Kate, has shared some ideas of ways to keep your dogs busy during lock-down and beyond!
Like most of us - humans and dogs - things have changed in our lives recently. My dogs certainly are not getting the same interactions as before so I have tried different approaches to their normal feeding:
Firstly I have been scatter feeding - this isn't rocket science and basically entails putting their dry food/kibble around the garden to make them sniff it out and eat it.
Any kind of game where your dog has to work for his/her food is good for their brain. Filling the yellow/green game with different food - some kibble and some higher value treats is a good way for your dog to use their brain. Even mine can use this so it really cant be that hard!
Give your dog/s time to be come adjusted to these tools and you'll understand which ones they are interested in, which ones they can be left with and which need supervision.
Cleaning these are important, and I put each of these gadgets through the dishwasher to ensure high temperature cleaning. Anything for an easy life!
Just some ideas to keep your dog happy and engaged during this quite bizarre time in our lives.
With the lock-down continuing, lots of people are spending their time taking up hobbies that they do not normally have the time for. I’m sure you’ve all seen the shared baking successes (and failures) on social media, and the empty baking aisle in your supermarket!
We thought some of you lovely dog parents might enjoy a spot of baking for your dogs. Your dog would be so grateful, and since they are not for human consumption, your waistline might thank you too!
In all seriousness, there are some really great, natural healthy treats on the market but a lot of commercial treats are packed with unhealthy additives such as chemical flavour or colour and not to mention, a more than healthy helping of sugar.
Here is one of our favourite recipies which makes around 20 natural, additive free treats which can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to two weeks… we hope you and your dogs enjoy it!
200 grams of minced meat (lamb is tasty but chicken or turkey is lower in fat)
100 grams of rice
1 small carrot
1 small potato
1 teaspoon of dried parsley