Summer is a fun time for all, including dogs! The hot weather brings with it lots of festivals, dog shows, fetes and more, all to be enjoyed by the whole family. At the same time however, when the weather moves into the 20’s it is important to remember the effects that heat can have on your dog, just as you do with children. Here are some helpful tips for managing the heat and your dog;
- EARLY/LATE WALKS; You don’t want to be out on a walk with your dog when the sun is at it’s hottest. This varies from region to region, but as a general rule avoid walks between mid-day and 5pm when in the heat of summer.
- WATER; Ensure there is fresh water available to your dog at all times. If you are going out, take a rucksack with some bottled water and a dog bowl so that you can offer this to your dog when you need to.
- SHADE; Although avoiding active walks in the sun, you can still go and enjoy a day out with your dog in summer, you just need to be sensible about it. Whilst adhering to tip number 2 and having water with you at all times, you should be looking to sit and converse where there is access to shade, for you and your dog. Your dog will often seek shade and happily lay down on some cool grass whilst you go about around them. You should avoid any hot surfaces such as tarmac and concrete. Dogs absorb and release heat from their paws.
- NO AIR CON; Air con can often be one of the biggest killers for dogs throughout summer. Some do not realise that the cool air that hits us sat in the driver and passengers seats, does not reach as far back as the car boot. This means dogs can be left to bake in greenhouse-like conditions. The best thing for your dog when travelling in a car is to have all windows open wide for a continual flow of air. The breeze will be very welcomed by your beloved dogs sat in the car boot! A DOG MUST NEVER BE LEFT IN A HOT CAR.
- REACTIONS; Make sure you know what to look for if your dog is over-heating. They cant speak up as a child or adult would when they are too hot. A dog pants to cool themselves down so watch out for excessive panting and drooling. Their eyes may become bloodshot and their mood will become very lethargic and actions slow. If you notice the beginning of any of these signs you need to get their temperature down immediately. Our rule of thumb is to ‘cool from the bottom up’. As we know a dogs paws absorb and release the heat, so making sure these are soaked/cooled is important, as well as their stomachs.
- ALTERNATIVES; Although they are missing out on their favorite walks there are lots of other ways to entertain and play with your dog, whilst keeping them cool at the same time! Paddling pools can provide hours of fun, you can add some balls and obstacles to mix things up! Or hiding things in a full washing up bowl, with the added ‘pressure’ of the hose pipe can be a great hide and seek game for your dog!
- LET THEM TELL YOU; I often refuse our usual walks in the heat of summer, to the disappointment and frustration of my dogs. So now I let them ‘tell me’. Once they step out-side and feel the burning sun and heat coming off from the garden path, they soon turn that frown upside down and are happy with the alternatives on offer!
- SWIM; For all at Bojangles Pets, summer is just another excuse to swim more with our four legged athletes! We all love the water and will incorporate any walk or trip out to include some form of water for us all to enjoy!