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Keep your Dog Cool & Safe in the Heat!

It's getting hot... and not just hot, hot hot! Unlike humans, dogs only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. They are unable to deal with soaring temperatures as easily as us and are therefore especially at risk of overheating. During the hot weather, it’s important to take some extra steps to ensure their safety. So here's some ideas to help keep them cool...

Keep your dog hydrated:

  • Ensure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times.

  • This is also vital when heading out on walks during the warmer weather. These portable dog bowls that attach to the lead are practical and inexpensive - a win-win.

  • If you’re visiting the beach don't forget to take fresh water with you - sea water is not an alternative to drinking water, even for dogs.

  • If your dog has a stainless steel bowl, ensure it is kept in the shade at all times - the metal can get very hot and heat the water.

  • Keep an eye out for bugs in your dogs water bowl and be sure to rinse them out frequently. If you think your dog has been stung multiple times, or is having an allergic reaction, speak to your vet immediately.

Walk your dog at cooler times of the day:

  • On hot summer days, it’s best to plan your walks at cooler times of the day - either early in the morning or late in the evening.

  • The 5 second test is a good practice to keep in mind - place the back of your hand on the floor - if you can't keep it there for 5 seconds then it's too hot for a walk!

  • If you are worried about the ground being hot, you can purchase paw protectors for your dog - we found some reasonably priced ones on Amazon.

  • Never run or cycle with your dog on hot days - take a slow, steady walk to help them keep cool.

Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in the car:

  • Never leave your dog alone in the car even if it's only for a short period of time and with the windows open.

  • It can take just 15 minutes for a dog to start overheating.

Help keep them cool:

  • Ensure your dog has a cool place to relax indoors away from the sunshine.

  • If you are at home, try to keep your windows open and turn on a fan or the air conditioning.

  • If your dog prefers to sit outside, make sure they have a shaded area to enjoy.

  • Lots of dogs love swimming, which is a great way for them to cool off. Some may prefer a small paddling pool to enjoy a little dip.

Make cooling treats:

  • Why not try making some tasty cooling treats for your dog? There's lots of quick and easy recipes online.

  • You could also freeze one of their favourite chew toys so they have something cold to chew on.

  • There's also Billy & Margot's Iced Treats from Ocado or something as simple as an ice cube that you can hold for them to lick.

It's important that you watch out for signs of overheating - which include loss of energy, heavy panting, dry gums that become pale and increased salivation. If you do start to see these signs it's important to find a shaded area and give your dog some cool water. If you are worried, you should contact your vet for further advice.

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