It’s almost Summer which means for a lot of us; as we come out of lockdown, we will be preparing for trips away, being able to go and sit in the garden and enjoy the sun, visit a beer garden or two with friends and family. It might also mean meeting up with the new four-legged editions to our friends and families lives for the first time too!
However, while we’re enjoying the heat, it’s essential to keep our dogs in mind and help keep them cool in the summer heat to prevent any chance of heatstroke occurring.
Keeping your dog cool sometimes isn’t as easy as it sounds; instead, it involves careful planning and preparation, especially if you’re going out! So, we thought that we’d create this post and provide all you lovely pet parents with some valuable tips on how to keep your dog cool in the summer heat.
How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer Heat
- Water! Always make sure that your dog has access to clean water at all times and that it’s topped up throughout the day. It’s also essential to keep water on you while out on walks with your dog as well in order to help them stay cool.
- Consider changing up your walking routine. For example, try taking your dog out for a walk during the cooler parts of the day, such as the early morning or evening. This will help your dog stay cool, get their daily exercise and reduce the chances of heatstroke occurring. Remember if you place the back of your hand on the pavement and it’s too warm for you then it will be for your dog too.
- Shade & Blankets. If you have a garden or patio, make sure that there is ample shade for your dog to lie in so that they don’t get too hot, and consider placing a blanket on the ground for them to lie on too.
- We probably don’t need to remind you wonderful pet parents, but this is another crucial tip to remember, never leave your dog alone in the car even if you have the windows open. It can be so easy for a dog to overheat.
- Now, if you read this blog often, then you’ll know that we’re huge fans of Happiness Games for dogs, and that doesn’t stop even in warm weather. So instead, why not try making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite treat inside? This will create a mentally stimulating game for your dog that doesn’t require much physical activity and helps keep them cool.
Signs Your Dog Has Heatstroke
Although we’ve provided these helpful tips to help keep your dog cool in the summer heat to prevent and reduce the chance of heatstroke, we still think it’s good to be aware of the signs, so if your dog does get heatstroke, then you can act fast!
- Heavy panting
- Rapid Pulse and Lack of coordination
- Vomiting or Diarrhoea
- Glazed eyes and expression
- Loss of consciousness
What To Do If Your Dog Has Heatstroke
If your dog is experiencing any of the signs above, you must act as quickly as possible. First, ensure that you take them to a cool shaded area where you can help cool them down.
To keep your dog cool, you can try rubbing them down with a cold flannel (something you can also do if your dog has hay fever). Ensure you provide them with ample water to drink or offer them with an ice cube to lick if you’re worried that they might drink too much too fast at first.
Ensure that while you’re treating your dog and helping them cool down, you don’t use a freezing cold flannel or ice-cold water as this can cause them to go into shock.
We don’t want to scare our pet parents but make sure that you have the correct information so that you’re in the best position to keep your dog cool in the summer heat, prevent heatstroke but also treat it if it does occur.
For more information on how to keep your dog cool in the summer heat, try out these articles from the Blue Cross and the PDSA.