With hot summer holidays upon us, it’s essential to take precautions to make sure your dog also enjoys summer safely. Dogs don’t sweat efficiently; instead they cool themselves by panting, and they can overheat very quickly if care isn’t taken.
Here are five important tips to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer.
1. Fresh water and shade
Your dog must always have access to shade and fresh water. Ideally, bring all pets indoors on hot days but if they must stay outside, remember that the sun moves throughout the day, and they need to have some shade at all times during the day. Make sure their water bowl is placed somewhere that stays shaded all day. Choose a solid and sturdy bowl and can’t be easily knocked over or picked up by curious puppies. You can also add ice cubes to help keep the water cool. Be sure to take water and a portable bowl with you on walks and offer regularly.
2. Sun awareness
Like humans, dogs and cats also suffer from sunburn and skin cancer. This most commonly occurs in white animals with exposed pink skin such as the nose, ears, and belly. Dogs with thin hair are also prone to sunburn. Keep your dog out of the sun between 11.00am and 3pm. You can apply pet-friendly sun cream to the pink areas and use a protective sunsuit if your dog likes to bake belly up.
Pavements and roads can get extremely hot and can burn the pads on your dog’s paws. If you can’t hold your hand comfortably on the pavement or stand with bare feet, then it is too hot for your dog! Walk your dog in the early morning or late evening on hot days.
Dogs will usually find themselves a cool spot to sprawl out and sleep but for outdoor dogs consider an elevated off the ground for good air-flow such as the Snooza Flea Free Raised Bed. For indoor dogs, consider changing their bedding to a more cooling fabric such as the Snooza Cool Cuddler.
5. Dogs with short noses
Breeds with short noses and flat faces such as pugs, English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are called Brachycephalic breeds. These breeds are more likely to suffer from heat stress in summer as they cannot pant efficiently to cool down. Take great care during summer to ensure they don’t overheat – use a harness when walking, and walk slowly and not during the heat of the day. These dogs should not be left outside at all on a hot day; they can overheat, even in the shade. Cooling mats/pads can help them cool down.