The summer heat has many of us searching for shade or popping in the paddling pool to cool ourselves down… and we don’t even have fur! So your dogs must be suffering just as much as you are, if not more.
Unlike us, dogs do not sweat and so to keep cool they rely on heavy panting and heat loss through their nose and paw pads (hence why you might find them laying on a cold tiled floor).
To help keep your dog cool this summer, take a look at our Rooke’s Recommendations below:
Where there’s shade, there’s a dog
If dogs are too hot and unable to reduce their body temperature by panting, they can easily develop heatstroke which can be fatal. Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke than others, particularly older dogs or young puppies, dogs with a thick coat or canines with short, flat faces like pugs and bulldogs.
To help your dog keep their cool and regulate their body temperature, encourage them to stay inside. If you’ve got an air conditioning system, turn that on (your pet pooch will be very grateful).
If you’re in the garden, you must remember to keep your pet in shaded areas and away from direct sunlight. If your garden lacks shade then Rooke’s Recommends investing in a parasol or canopy, or you could build a little hideaway for your dog (but you must ensure there is sufficient airflow throughout, otherwise what you could end up with is a hotbox).
Add a splash
Some dog breeds such as Labradors are natural-born swimmers and taking them out for a swim to the local riverbank could be the paw-fect way to cool them down. But if that’s not an option, why not invest in a doggy paddling pool? It’ll cool your pooch down a treat and provide fun for the whole family… win, win!
Ice, Ice, Baby
If your dog is healthy and just feeling warm on a hot day, you can add ice cubes to their water bowl to help keep them cool and hydrated, but they must be an appropriate size for your dog to avoid the risk of choking.
If however your dog is suffering from heatstroke – common warning signs include heavy panting, excessive drooling, lethargic/drowsy/un-coordination, collapsing or vomiting – do not give them ice cubes and instead call your vet immediately as they will need urgent treatment.
Here at Rooke’s we stock the Frozzys range of Frozen Yogurts and Woof & Berry Paw pops – a tasty, refreshing and hydrating treat for man’s best friend on a hot summer’s day!
Small pieces of frozen fruit like apples, bananas or even small berries are another great way to keep your dog cool.
Of course, from a health perspective you don’t want to give your pup too many treats, so as an alternative why not put their favourite toy in the freezer for a couple of hours – this works well with the KONG Classic toys – to give them a fun and refreshing afternoon of play.
Cool mats for dogs have been very popular this year already as they provide the perfect chilled spot for your dog to lay down and relax comfortably, and you can put them anywhere in the home – inside or out!
Not got a cool mat? Not a problem! Just dampen a towel, blanket or fill a hot water bottle with cold water.
A little TLC
Grooming your dogs throughout the warmer months can help to regulate their body temperature and ultimately prevent heatstroke – this is particularly important for dogs with long and/or thick hair.
A summer hair cut might also be a good idea; get in touch with your local groomer and they’ll be able to advise you on the options to suit your dog’s temperament and breeding.
A few things to note
- Plan your walks and avoid taking your dog out in the midday sun: early morning or evening walks are best as it will be cooler and more comfortable for both you and your pet.If you can, walk on the grass to avoid hot pavements as they can burn your dog’s paws; if you can’t keep your hand on the pavement for a minimum of 7 seconds, then it is too hot for your dog to be walking on.
- Keep hydrated: just like us, dogs need to stay hydrated throughout the day. Ensure your canine companion has access to plenty of clean drinking water all year round, especially in the summer.If you’re out and about with your dog, be sure to take a bottle of water and a portable dog bowl with you.
- Never, ever, ever leave your dog in a warm car: it can be fatal – even parked in the shade with the windows open. Dogs become stressed and uncomfortable very quickly.Whatever the temperature is outside, it will be tenfold inside the car and quickly equivalate to a hotbox.
‘‘What if it’s just for a couple of minutes?’’
No! That is still too long – there are no exceptions.
If you do see a dog in a hot car, dial 999.
For more advice on keeping your dog cool in the hotter months of the year, pop in store and speak to our friendly team for tips on what you can do to help them. You could even pick up a Frozzys frozen yogurt or two! And, if you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke then call your vet immediately.