I don’t know about you, but, I love summer. The sunshine, lighter nights, barbecues and not needing to wrap up under layers of clothes. However, as much as we adore the summertime, it can be less enjoyable for our pooches.
Today I’m sharing my 7 tips to ensure a fun and safe experience for your dog in summer.
1 // Avoid The Hottest Part Of The Day
Dogs don’t sweat like us humans do. Instead, they release heat and regulate their temperature by panting. The hot weather can quickly and easily overwhelm dogs because they are so sensitive to heat. Even a short time in the hot sun can be fatal to dogs.
The best way to avoid heatstroke is to walk your dog when it is cooler. Typically this will be early morning and in the evening when the sun is down.
Don’t force your dog walk or do strenuous exercise when it is hot as this increases the chances of overheating.
2 // Access to fresh clean water
Keeping your dog hydrated during hot summer days is essential to helping keep them cool and preventing heatstroke. Ensure there is easy access to fresh, clean water at all times.
As well as drinking water, you can invest in a doggie paddling pool* where your dog can hop into to cool down.
3 // Plenty of shade and shelter
Some dogs do enjoy a bit of sunbathing – my dogs are always chasing the sun around the house. And while that is OK, it is vital that your dog has the opportunity to seek shade and shelter from the sun when they need too.
If your dog is a bit of a sun worshiper, keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t overdoing it and move them indoors or to a shaded area.
4 // Protect paws and skin
Hot weather and pavements mean boiling hot surfaces. Walking your dog on hot pavements and paths can result in painfully burnt paws.
To prevent burning the pads of your dog’s paws, where possible avoid walking during the hottest time of the day (11-4pm).
Do the quick hand test before venturing out with your pooch by placing the back of your hand onto the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
And if you really have to take your dog walking when it’s hot, you can protect their precious paws with slip on boots*.
Like humans, dogs can also get sunburn. Use some suntan lotion on the areas that are exposed to the sun to stop them getting burnt.
5 // Don’t leave dogs in the car
I’m sure you will have heard this before, but it is so important that you never, ever, leave dogs in a car when it is hot. Even a couple of minutes in a hot car with the windows down can be deadly for dogs.
The RSPCA and The Kennel Club actively campaign with ‘Dogs die in hot cars’ and ‘Don’t cook your dog’ messages every year. Yet every summer we still hear the horror stories of dogs dying due to being left in a hot car.
Cars can become like an oven very quickly and because dogs are sensitive to heat can easily overheat. It is just not worth the risk.
6 // Make some cool treats
A good way to keep your dog cool during the hot weather is with some frozen dog treats. Not only will this keep them nice and cool, it’s also a lot of fun (and tasty) too.
You can prepare these treats in advance and pop them in the freezer to give to your dog during a hot day
7 // Watch out of ticks, bees
Summer brings with it all sorts of bugs and beasties and while most are fairly harmless, there are a few that can cause issues with our dogs.
Ticks being a major one. Always check your dog over for ticks if you have been out walking in long grassy or wooded areas. This is where ticks are most commonly found.
And if you do find a tick on your dog, don’t panic. Invest in a tick remover* to safely remove it.
Another potential problem for dogs is bees and wasps. Dogs don’t realise that the little thing they are chasing around the garden can sting them. Many dogs can suffer an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting so keep a packet of Benadryl handy just in case.
Do you have any tips for keeping dogs safe in summer?
* Please note that some links in this post are affiliates, however I only promote products and links that I think you will find useful.
Image by Mutley’s Snaps Pet Photography.