Summer can mean lots of fun adventures in the sun with your dog.
However, if the temperature rises, the heat can put your dog’s health at risk.
Whether you take them for a walk, drive a car, or play in the garden, summer can be tough for dogs.
But with a few precautions you can ensure that your dog is happy, healthy and not at risk of overheating.
Taking care of your dogs in summer means careful preparation and planning in advance.
Here are six of the best ways to keep dogs cool in summer so you can safely enjoy the sun with your furry friend.
1 – Make sure your dog is hydrated
It’s important to make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh, cold water at all times.
If you are out with your dog, make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times and give him a small amount of water every 15 to 20 minutes during the activity.
Keep an eye on your dog if he is panting excessively, find some shade, and give him more water right away.
2 – Never leave your dogs in the car
A drive in the car with the window closed is always fun for dogs.
But leaving a dog alone in a hot car can be fatal, even in milder temperatures and parking in the shade with the windows open.
The RSPCA reminds dog owners every year to never leave their dog in a hot car.
The heat can really kill, even if you think it’s safe and it won’t take you long – dogs feel the temperatures a lot more than we do.
So make sure you always have a plan so that your dog is not left alone in the car or other enclosed spaces.
If a dog is unable to lower its body temperature, it can develop heat stroke, which can be fatal.
Signs and symptoms to look out for include:
Other symptoms to look out for include drooping ears and / or tails.
Ears upright and tail wagging are good signs – when it starts to droop, it’s time to cool off.
Treating heat stroke in dogs
If you think your dog has heat stroke, act quickly
Bring them to a cool, shady place
Apply towels soaked in cold water to the head, neck and chest
Encourage them to drink water or lick an ice cube
However, never put them directly in ice cold water or give them too much to drink as they can go into shock
3 – Keep your house cool
If you leave your dog at home alone, keep the windows open and turn on a fan.
Always encourage them to stay in the shade and put damp towels down to lie on.
You can also keep them cool inside out by turning them into cool treats like ice pops by freezing treats in ice cubes to nibble on.
4- Encourage your dog to play in the water
Your dog always has energy to play with, but it can lead to overheating in the summer.
So find ways to incorporate water into the games you play with your dog.
Turn on sprinklers, keep a wading pool in the shade for them to splash in, or freeze their food or chew toys to stimulate and entertain them without too much effort.
5 – Plan your dog’s walks
Hot surfaces can really injure your dog’s paws, so avoid walking your dog in the midday sun.
Early morning or evening walks will be cooler and more comfortable for them, but even then, be sure to touch the sidewalk before driving – if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
Walk on grass instead of asphalt and you may consider trying ankle boots to protect your dog’s paws.
6 – Schedule regular dog grooming and veterinary visits
Regular grooming and / or trimming is important to keep your dog’s coat clean and free of knots, especially because mats can retain heat.
Visit the vet regularly and make sure all recordings are up to date.
Grooming and health checks ensure that your dog has not been exposed to fleas or parvovirus, which spreads more rapidly in hot weather.
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