As Summer approaches and the weather warms up it is a good idea to have plans in place to help your dog cope on a hot day. This is especially true if you have a puppy, a senior dog, or a Brachycephalic breed (ie Bulldog, Boxer, Pug, Cavalier etc).
Here are a few things you can provide:
Ample Water: Make sure your dog has access to fresh and cool water at all times. Hydration is crucial in preventing heat-related issues.
Shade: Ensure your dog has a shady place to retreat to when outdoors. This could be a tree, a doghouse, or any shelter that provides relief from the sun.
Limited Exercise: Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day. Opt for walks and playtime in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler, and only if your dog seems up to it.
Cooling Mats or Pads: These products are designed to keep your dog cool, and they can be placed in your dog’s bed or favorite resting spot. Avoid these if your dog is likely to chew them as they may contain dangerous materials.
Wet Towels or Bandanas: Dampen a towel or bandana with cool water and place it around your dog’s neck. This can help cool them down as the water evaporates.
Doggie Pool: If your dog enjoys water, consider setting up a small kiddie pool for them to splash around and cool off.
Grooming: Regular grooming, including brushing your dog’s coat, helps to remove excess fur and allows air to circulate, keeping your dog cooler.
Frozen Treats: Provide frozen treats like ice cubes, frozen fruits, or special doggy ice cream to help lower your dog’s body temperature.
Ventilation: Ensure good airflow if your dog is indoors. Use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Other things to consider:
Avoid Hot Surfaces: Pavement, asphalt, and sand can get extremely hot and burn your dog’s paw pads. Walk your dog on grass or in shaded areas whenever possible.
Travel Safely: If you’re taking your dog on a car ride, never leave them unattended in a parked car, even with the windows cracked. Cars can quickly become dangerously hot.
Watch for Overheating Signs: Be vigilant for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, and disorientation. If you notice these signs, move your dog to a cooler place and contact your veterinarian.
Remember, some dogs may be more susceptible to heat than others, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your dog’s behaviour and adjust your routine accordingly. And supervision is always recommended when swimming, or providing toys, bedding or clothing that may be harmful if swallowed. If you have concerns about your dog’s health in hot weather, consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice.