The hot weather is here to stay it seems! You might be wondering how best to keep your dog cool in the relentless summer heat. Hot weather can be very dangerous to both humans and animals, so it’s really important to follow some basic precautions to keep safe. One of the biggest single risks is heatstroke in dogs, which is serious enough to kill. For more specific information on this, the symptoms to look out for and actions you can take, please take a look at the RSPCA website.
Walk your dog in the early morning or late evening
The sun is strongest and most dangerous during the middle part of the day between 10am and 3pm. However temperatures can be at their peak at any time between 8am and 8pm, so you should always attempt to walk your dog outside these hours. Dogs can also easily burn their paws on hot pavements. Place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t take the heat for more than a second or two, neither can your dog.
Never leave your dog in a car, sun trap or hot room
Temperatures in cars, conservatories, greenhouses and sun traps can rise very quickly, even when the windows are left open. This can be very quickly lead to heatstroke and it could be fatal. For more information on what you can do if you find a dog trapped in a car, take a look at the Kennel Club advice on this matter. Instead, avoid any long car journeys during the day and give them access to the cooler rooms in the house.
Limit exercise and play indoors
Dogs love to get outside and will probably demand their daily walk at some point during the day. Limit vigorous exercise or activities during the hot weather and only go outside with your dog before 8am or after 8pm. It’s always best to stay inside during the day but you can still try some basic training games that don’t involve too much exercise. Getting your attention will probably be enough to keep them entertained before they have their siesta.
Get a cooling mat
Cooling mats provide comfort for your dog during the hot weather. It’s a mat that they can sit or lay on to get relief from the heat. Most cooling mats work because they contain non-toxic self cooling gel. This gel is typically at least 5 degrees lower than room temperature. Our Lhasa Apso Poppy is currently obsessed with hers. We’re not surprised considering the heat outside! We have placed it directly in front of a fan and she sits there in the hottest parts of the day. We’d recommend taking a look on Amazon for their full selection of cooling mats, but there’s also Pets at Home or local pet stores.
Use a paddling pool
Paddling pools are fun for all the family but that can include your dog too. Get one especially for them and fill it up just a small amount so they can dip their paws in. Make sure you put the paddling pool in a shaded area of the garden so the water stays cold. It’s a great way to let your dog cool off if they’ve been outside in the sun. Keep your dog hydrated, well shaded and out of the midday sun. There’s lots of paddling pools available at Amazon, but you can also try out Argos or eBay to find the bargains.
Stay safe this summer
Humans and dogs alike in the UK are just not used to the kind of summer heat we are experiencing at the moment. The key message is to keep your dog inside during the part of the day when temperatures are peaking. Heatstroke can quickly cause death and is a very serious problem at this time of year. Take extra precautions. Keep your dog well hydrated, give them plenty of shade and never exercise or walk them between 8am and 8pm on a hot day. Check out the information below from Vetsnow which explains heatstroke in greater detail and provides some useful advice on what to do if you’re worried.