Summertime! The sun is out and the shorts are on. It’s perfect weather to get outside and go for some long walks; but as the temperatures rise so does the risk for your dog.
It is only natural that you and your dog are going to get more active over the summer months but it is important to remember to pay a little more attention to our furry friends when out and about.
Some dog breeds will naturally do better than others in the heat. Short haired pooches (beagles, dalmatians and great danes) are more equipped to release any excess heat; and racing dogs (salukis, greyhounds and whippets etc.) have longer noses to cool the air and larger lungs to distribute oxygen around their bodies better.
Many breeds, however, will struggle. Long haired or double coated dogs (huskies, alsatians and bernese mountain dogs etc.) will struggle to cool down – their thick coats will tend to trap the heat in. Dogs with snub noses (pugs, bulldogs and boston terriers etc.) will also struggle in hotter climates because of their short noses.
It is also important to keep an extra close eye on larger dog breeds in the heat as well as elderly, obese or diabetic dogs.
When it is hot outside, most dogs will take it upon themselves to keep themselves topped up with water; but some won’t and it is your responsibility as an owner to trick them into keeping hydrated.
Here are some straightforward tips for keeping your pooch cool and hydrated when the thermometer is climbing:
1. Throw in a Towel
Wet a towel for your dog to either lay on or to lay over their head. Laying on the cool towel will quickly regulate their body temperature and placing it over their heads will also offer some shade.
Never splash water over their heads if they are in the sun as this will attract more sunlight and begin to cook their heads.
2. Do You Want Ice With That?
As the temperatures rise, it is likely that the water you are pouring into your dog’s bowl is actually warm, so try popping some ice cubes in their water bowl.
This is a really effective way of cooling your pooch from the inside out and you will quickly notice them look much more comfortable.
3. Fancy a Swim?
Jump online and pick up a dog-friendly paddling pool. They are nice and shallow so they won’t take a lifetime to fill up and offer the opportunity for your dog to come and go as they please.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on one but we do recommend you pick up a dog-specific paddling pool as they will be made from a stronger material to withstand dog nails.
Click on the link below for our tried, tested and approved dog-friendly swimming pool:
4. Or How About an Ice Lolly?
You can’t say no to a frozen treat when it’s hot outside; and your dog won’t either! It’s as simple as grabbing an ice tray, filling it with water and popping it in the freezer. In an hour or 2, your pooch has a fun treat which they’ll enjoy as it cools them down!
And if you really want to treat them, why not check out these 5 cool recipes for frozen dog treats, courtesy of Wide Open Pets.
5. Build a Fort
If your dog has a favourite spot which is in heat of the sun, often they will refuse to lay somewhere else – no matter how much cooler they may be!
Why not make a makeshift parasol for them by running a piece of string, rope or wire above them and pegging up a towel, some tarpaulin or table cloth.
Your pooch gets to stay sat in their favourite spot and they aren’t sat directly in the sun – it’s a win win!
6. Always Carry a Portable Water Bowl
There are loads of collapsible water bowls available on the Internet now, so that wherever you go, you can always offer a familiar source of water to your dog.
They flat pack and many will clip onto your trousers – you won’t even know that it’s there!
Here is one we have tried and tested ourselves. At first we thought it was a little small, but then you realise that on a dog walk it doesn’t need to be any bigger! We love it and think you will too:
7. Wet Food
If your dog primarily eats dried food, you might want to consider mixing canned food in during the Summer months.
If you pour out a third less dry mixer and top the bowl up with canned meat, the water content in the canned food will help to keep your pooch nice and hydrated.
This is a simple but effective way to get water into your dog without them necessarily realising!
8. Avoid Pavements
This is one is an obvious one, but as the sun beats down on pavements they can heat up to painfully uncomfortable temperatures for your pooches paws.
If you have to walk your dog on a pavement in the afternoon make sure you stick to the shaded spots to prevent pads from blistering.
9. Timing is Everything
No matter how much you might not want to, it is important that you take your dog out early in the morning and late in the evening give your dog every chance to run around and exercise whilst it isn’t too hot.
This is a tough one for a lot of owners but seeing how happy your pooch is on a nice cool 5am or 6am walk will make it more than worthwhile!
10. A Little Off the Top?
Another consideration is whether or not you should trim your dog’s thick, fluffy coat at the beginning of summer. It may be tempting to simply shave off all the fuzz from your super furry friend but, strangely, it isn’t necessarily going to help – before you do you need to consider the drawbacks. Dogs with double coats will have a sudden lack of insulation and a decreased protection from the sun.
Before you grab for the razor, it’s worth noting that with some dogs the outer coat will grow slower than the inner, insulating coat. In many cases, it can take a couple of years for the coat to grow back to it’s normal length.
Of course, a trim will help to keep your furry friend cooler over summer; that is why we recommend taking them along to a professional groomer. They have experience working with thick coats and will know exactly how much (and where) to trim.
EveryDog Grooming & Spa offers a full body trim with prices starting from just £34.95. Get in touch today to book your pooch in!