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!