How do I keep my dog cool in the warm weather?
Failing to keep dogs cool in hot environments can cause serious harm and death from heat stroke. Several tips to help keep your dog happy and healthy in the heat are detailed below:
Staying cool outdoors
1) Encourage staying in shaded areas, avoiding the direct sun
2) Provide towels dampened with cool water to lie on
3) Keep a paddling pool in the garden for them to dip in when feeling warm
4) Make use of the garden sprinkler
5) Allow access to plenty of clean drinking water
Plan to walk your dog at cooler times of day
Planning walks during cooler times of the day such as early morning or later in the evening can reduce the chances of heat stroke. Pay particular attention to any distress when walking dogs which may be unfit or suffer from breathing difficulties.
DO NOT leave dogs in hot cars
Plan your journeys in advance, containing a dog or cat in a hot car even whilst you are present can be potentially fatal. Take into account potential traffic, venues to be visited (if they have a ‘no dogs allowed’ policy then leaving your dog alone in a car would not be wise).
Dogs frequently die in hot cars, winding down a window is not sufficient to ensure their safety!
If you see a dog in a hot car call 999 immediately!
Groom your dog regularly
Matts and knots in fur can increase the amount of heat trapping, be sure to groom your pet regularly to reduce this effect. If looking for the perfect grooming tools take a look at our online shop!
Avoid letting dogs get burnt
- Protect their feet from hot tarmac avoid walking on hot ground – if you cannot keep your own hand on the ground for 7 seconds then it is too hot for your dog to walk on
- Use a dog safe sun cream on exposed part of their body such at noses and ear tips – speak to us about which sun block creams are safe and how to use them. These are available from our online shop – take a look!
How do I know if my dog is overheating?
Heat stroke occurs when dogs are unable to regulate their body temperature (cool down) by panting, this can quite commonly become fatal. Some dogs are more prone to heat stroke than others such as young puppies/elderly dogs, heavy coated breeds, short snouted breed (Pugs, French Bulldogs).
Signs of heatstroke/overheating may be as follows:
- Excessive/heavy panting
- Salivating (drooling) excessively
- Lethargy, drowsiness or incoordination
If your dog exhibits any of these signs – follow some emergency first aid steps below and call your vet immediately.
Emergency First Aid to Heat Stroke Dogs
1) Move the dog to a cool shaded area
2) Apply small amounts of room temperature water on the dog, avoid cold water as this may cause shock. A fan providing breeze or use of damp towels placed on the dog may help. Be sure to regularly re-apply water to wet towels and avoid keeping the dog constantly covered as this may trap heat instead.
3) Allow access to room temperature (not excessively cold) water for drinking
4) Keep cooling with room temperature water by pouring small amounts on the dog – care not to induce shivering – stop if shivering occurs
5) Call your vet for further guidance and to have your dog checked over
Call immediately if you think your dog may be suffering from heat stroke/overheating
01983 212 999