For many of us humans, the summer is the perfect time for us to soak up the rays and have the time of our life. But sadly for our four-legged friends that isn’t always the case for them.
Sure, less rain means more walks, but when we’re experiencing extreme bouts of heat like we are this week it can be at least uncomfortable for our dogs, and at worst fatal.
Heatstroke in dogs is a real thing and can happen very fast. Dogs Trust has shared information on how to avoid heatstroke in dogs and how to look out for signs that your dog may be suffering from it.
With that in mind, our dogs can still enjoy themselves inside or out this summer, once the necessary precautions to keep them cool are taken. If you’re looking to treat your puppy and keep them comfortable over the next week or so, read on.
Seven Second Test
When trying to decide if it’s safe enough to walk your dog, press your hand down on the tarmac/ground for 7 seconds and see how it feels. If it’s too hot for your hand, chances are it’s far too hot for little paws, so give the walk a miss! Missing out on a walk won’t be the end of your dog, but taking them out when it’s simply too warm could be, so be responsible. It’s advised to only walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperatures are cooler.
To cool your doggie down during the hottest times of the day, get creative with their treats. There are plenty of recipes online on how to create mini frozen treats and pupsicles. If your dog wouldn’t enjoy a pupsicle, you could always freeze some small treats or dry food in an ice cube and turn it into a fun game for your dog to lick them out. While you’re at it, make sure to have plenty of ice cubes frozen so you can pop them into their water bowl throughout the day too.
If you can’t get your dog out for their usual exercise because of the heat, why not turn their ‘exercise’ into a fun activity instead? You could set up a paddling pool in the garden, grab a water gun or hose and turn cooling them down into a game. Just be sure to have a spot in the shade for them to relax in afterwards.
The old face-cloth trick
If you see your dog panting you can cool them down by wetting a towel or face cloth and placing it over them. This works the same way it does with humans, making you feel cooler when the cloth is placed on the fur. Be sure to re-wet the cloth every 20-30 minutes to keep it cool.
As for actual walks
Most dogs are still eager to get outside each day, regardless of how warm it is. So, if you want to walk your dog, it’s recommended that you do it during cool times of the day. This could be early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is setting.
Dogs Trust has also outlined signs of heatstroke to look out for in dogs. They include the following:
- Excessive or rapid panting
- Red gums and tongue
- Heavy salivation
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
If you believe that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, seek veterinary attention immediately.