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Dachshund lying on a sandy beach in the sun

Summer is upon us and we’re all experiencing the heat… including our fellow pooches. Although summer brings outdoor playtime and long beach walks, the heat can get uncomfortable for our four-legged friends, so here are a few things you can do to make the hotter months more enjoyable for them.

1. Keep them hydrated
Make sure your dog drinks enough water. It’s an obvious point but it’s an important one. Make drinking more enjoyable for them by adding some ice cubes to their bowl or add a dash of goats milk to make it extra tasty!
Let them paddle too… invest in a childrens paddling pool for the garden and let your dog splash around when they need to. It will keep them cool and you could even sneak in a doggy bath!
2. Give them some extra cool treats
Cool treats are a great options for hot hogs. Try giving the frozen vegetables like carrots or cucumber. If you really want to treat your pooch – most supermarkets offer doggy ice cream! Another way to cool them down is freezing their favourite treats and toys an ice cube. They love the task of trying to get them out, all whilst getting their fix of hydration.
3. Keep your pets paws cool
Dogs’ paws can burn on hot pavements and surfaces. As a general rule, if a surface is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws. To avoid your dog’s paws getting burnt on the pavement, try to walk them first thing in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler.
4. Change their fashion
We live in a world of gadgets and constant technology! Check out cooling vests, collars and beds.
5. Keep them in the shade
If your dog is outside, make sure there is somewhere he can go to take shelter from the sun’s rays. Set up a little tent or umbrella!
6. Pamper your pooch
Make sure your pooch has had a trim so the extra fur won’t make them over heat. The undercoat is actually part of a dog’s natural cooling system, but if not properly maintained it can become matted and prevent air flow across your dog’s skin. Frequent brushing helps remove and “dead” fur and keeps your pets coat healthy and comfortable.
7. Be smart
Be sensible when it comes to the summer and your pooch. Don’t walk them in the hottest part of the day – stick to early mornings and late evenings. In summer, a car left outside in the sun can rapidly turn into an oven, even if the weather doesn’t feel that hot. If it is 22°c outside, the temperature in a car can rise to 47°c within an hour – unbearable to both humans and dogs. NEVER leave your dog in the car!
8. Beware of heatstroke
Just like people, dogs can get heatstroke too. If a dog is too hot and is unable to reduce their body temperature though panting or drinking water, they will develop heatstroke which can be deadly. The RSPCA says that these are the warning signs to look out for:
  • Heavy panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • If you dog appears to be lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated.
  • Vomiting
If your dog shows any signs of having heatstroke, move them to a cooler area in the shade and call a vet immediately.
The normal body temperature for a dog should be between 38°c and 39°c, if your dog’s temperature is above this, you should also call a vet immediately. You can measure your dog’s temperature with the PetScanner microchip reader (if they have a thermal chip) and view it on a graph on the app.
In order to prevent heatstroke, try some of these tips:
  • Walk your dog at cooler times of the day as mentioned previously, for example in the early morning or evening.
  • Watch out for early signs of heatstroke and call a vet immediately.
  • Make sure your dog has access to water at home and on walks – be careful to ensure they drink it in small doses and not in one go!
  • Make cooling treats for your dog (and other pets) by making ice cubes with their favourite treats inside to keep them hydrated.
  • Have a splash around with your pooch in a paddling pool… fun for both you and your pet.
  • Short nosed dogs such as boxers, pugs, older and overweight dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke so keep an eye out when they are exposed to the heat.
With these tips and tricks, we hope you and your furry friends can enjoy a perfect summer together!
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