Steps for Cooling Down Your Dog this Summer

Here we have some helpful tips for keeping your dog cool in the hot summer months! From dog cooling mats and vests to altering your dog walk to avoid the heat.

• Make sure water is always available, on those extra hot days; add an ice-cube or two to your dogs drinking water.

• Always take water with you on walks, or walk in areas where water is available such as a river or stream.

• Take walks in the morning or evening times to avoid the hot mid-day heat.

• If the pavement is too hot for your hand to rest on for 5 seconds – it’s too hot for your doggies’ toes to walk on.

• Always ensure shade or a cool area is available in the house and outside for your dog.

• Provide a shallow wading pool if your dog is a water lover.

• Provide a cooling mat – this can be placed on top of your dog’s favourite bed or under its blanket.

• Provide a cooling vest 

• No long car journeys – do not leave your dog in a hot car at any point, even with the window open the glass acts as a greenhouse and your dog can overheat quickly.

Dog breeds and hot weather

As dogs come in all shapes and sizes some are better adapted to cope with the hot weather than others, so some owners may need to take extra care. Dogs to keep a special eye on are those with thick winter coats designed for the northern are southern temperatures – Malamutes and Samoyed, for example, have extra thick coats designed for snow and can struggle in the heat – make sure they are kept well groomed to thin the coat as much as you can during these hot months and ensure they always have access to a cool area in the house. Other breeds to keep an eye on are those with short snouts as these dogs have a harder time regulating their core temperature, these include breeds like pugs and French bulldogs – keep their exercise and playtime to a minimum on especially hot days. Pale dogs with white fur or very thin fur are susceptible to sunburn – research your breed if you are unsure.

Signs of dog heatstroke

Here we have listed some common signs of heatstroke to look out for in your pet:

• Heavy/rapid panting

• Thick saliva in excess

• Fatigue and lethargy – staggering and tripping are things to look out for

• Raised temperature

If your pet shows any of these signs, stop any exercise – find a cool shaded spot. Provide water and if possible apply water to the paws, belly, groin and underarm area. Avoid exposing to very cold water as this could cause shock. If you are unsure always seek veterinary advice.