We might not be living at the equator, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to be prepared when it comes to summertime and keeping dogs cool.
It is possible for a dog to be active and healthy during the warmer weather, you just need to know how. In fact, we’d go so far as to say some of your best doggy moments will be during these months.
So here are our 10 easy ways of how to keep dogs cool in summertime.
- Ice: You add it to your summer drinks, now add it to your dog’s routine! You can add ice to their water bowl to cool it down, you can even use ice packs under wet towels for your pooch to lie on. You can also freeze chewy rubber toys which will stay nice and cold for a good bit of chewing.
- Get the paddling pool out: Don’t let the kids think it’s all about them, get a cheap paddling pool which is just for your hound. Use shallow water which is cool, and pop it in the shade. Encourage your dog to enter (if they need encouragement!) by putting some favourite rubber toys in there. Soon they will be splashing about with abandon.
- Provide shade: Even if you’re an avid sun worshipper you wouldn’t be out in the heat with a fur coat on. Make sure, wherever you are, your dog has access to a shady spot. That means if you stop off on a walk at the pub for a drink in the sunshine, you need to make sure your pooch is catered for too and not left struggling with a tiny spot of shade by your hot feet.
- Take water with you: Take a bottle of water and a collapsible bowl out with you on walks. If you’ll be out for a long period pop the bottle of water in the freezer so that by the time your pup comes to drink it is still cold. Alternatively, carry cold water in a flask to keep the water tempreture cool.
- Time your walks: They say it’s only mad dogs and Englishmen out in the midday sun, so make sure you’re sensible and not living up to the stereotype. On sunny days, avoid walks between 11am and 3pm when the sun is hottest. Walks in the cooler early morning and evening can be better.
- Avoid pavements: Pavements have an incredible ability to store and maximise heat. If it’s a particularly hot day avoid pavements altogether. If you’re unsure, test the pavement by touching it. Remember dogs don’t have shoes and their paws can easily burn.
- Treat them: You get the ice cream or the ice-cold refreshing drink, let your best friend have a treat too. Freeze water with dog treats in them, or even freeze some canned food (out of the can). These cool treats are ideal for keeping dogs cool.
- Stay on top of grooming: Remember that fur coat! Take time grooming in the summer months to ensure coats are free of tangles. It could also be a good time for a summer haircut too! Do take the advice of the groomer as some fur coverage will help protect against sunburn so clip appropriately.
- Take them swimming: An alternative to walkies can be to go for a swim. Some dogs love it, some will back away growling like they’ve just encountered their nemesis, so take their lead. Do check that the open water is safe, including currents, algae and hazards. After swimming in the sea, rinse them off as soon as possible to prevent their skin drying due to the salt water.
- Never leave your dog in the car: Even if you think you’re just nipping somewhere, summer isn’t the time to leave your much-loved pooch in the car, even with the windows ajar. Dogs can die in cars on sunny days. Staggeringly, the temperature in a car will reach over double the outside temperature within one hour on a sunny day. Don’t risk it!
Different breeds are more adept at dealing with the heat. Thin coated dogs such as Dalmatians fare much better in heat than our wrinkly chums and snub-nosed pals, such as pugs.
Puppies, older dogs, overweight dogs and diabetic dogs also find it harder to regulate their own temperature.
Part of knowing how to keep dogs cool in summer is also keeping alert for signs of over-heating, heatstroke or dehydration. Look out for heavy panting and drooling, rapid heart rate and signs of dehydration as explained here.
Keeping dogs cool in the summer can be fun as well as a challenge. Remember it’s hard for your dog to communicate with you about their needs, and they also may not even realise they are getting too hot before it’s much harder to cool them down.
Heatstroke can happen to dogs too, and it can bring devastating consequences, so don’t let it happen to your dog and you.
Be alert to their needs and use the different strategies above to make things easier.
Keeping dogs cool in summer is just one part of what we do here at The Wag Club doggy day care centres in London. To book your dog in, just get in touch today.