After a winter washout we are all so ready to embrace some sunny weather and warm temperatures with our furry companions, friends and families.
Our two sighthounds are absolute sun worshippers, migrating regularly to sunspots in the house or garden at any given opportunity! As the weather warms up however, it's important to be aware of the dangers the summer months can pose to our dogs as they cannot cool down as easily as we can. From changing up walk times for early morning and late evening to encouraging them to lay in the shade when it's too hot, there’s many things we can do to give our dogs a helping hand and make sure they stay happy and healthy this summer.
- Water-related activities are fun and perfect for cooling off their paws whether in a shallow paddling pool in the back garden or with the hosepipe and sprinkler.
- Keep energetic games, chasing and running to a minimum whilst its hot. You can introduce new games in the shade or indoors such as hiding their favorite toys/treats and letting them sniff them out which will keep them stimulated without too much physical exertion.
- Freeze their favourite foods or treats for a cool, lickable treat! You can also make an ice-lolly for them using dog-friendly ingredients.
- Put down cool damp towels for them to lie on or use a ‘cooling mat’ – these are readily available online or in pet stores.
- Check the tarmac or pavement with your hand before heading out for a walk. If you cannot hold your hand on it for 7 seconds without it getting too hot, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
- Never ever leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a vehicle, even with the windows open.
- Always ensure your dog has access to shady, ventilated areas and plenty of fresh, cold water throughout the day whether at home, in the garden or out on walks.
There’s lots of information available online from vet practices and charities such as the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA, providing vital advice on heatstroke and how to spot the early signs eg. panting heavily and excessive drooling, along with more tips on keeping your dog safe during hot weather. Remember to always seek out professional advice if you are concerned about your dog.