Keeping your dog cool…..the smart way
There is no better way to enjoy the great British outdoors other than a long adventure in the sun with your dog, but have you remembered to prepare for the temperatures you may face while out your walk?
Unlike humans, dogs do not have sweat glands. Instead they will pant and release heat from their paws and nose too. Keeping your dog cool during these warmers climates is essential for their health and wellbeing, but don’t worry we have put together some helpful tips to make your day out as safe and fun as possible and also answered a few of the most common dog owner questions.
Where is my dog most at risk from overheating?
In the car: You may have read in recent years many stories in the national newspapers regarding dogs being left along in cars during hot weather conditions with no windows or vents open in the vehicle. Even more worryingly some have even been spotted with no water availability too! This selfish act has caused many dog deaths UK wide and a real cause for concern within the dog owner community. Many novice dog owners are unware of the risks associated with leaving their dog in a vehicle during warmer weathers. Did you know that temperatures inside your car differ greatly from the outside? For example an outside reading of 20 degrees can quickly increase a cars inside temperature to over 47 degrees within only 1 hour….this unbearable heat can quickly cause your dog to suffer from heatstroke which can prove life threatening.
Tips & Recommendation for car travel:
- Always have windows partially or fully open to circulate hot and cold air within the car both when travelling on the road and when parked up.
- Adequate fresh water should be readily available during the trip at all times to give your dog the choice to self cool when they feel the need. You can purchase anti-spill travel bowls to make travelling a little easier, these can be easily found at your local pet store.
- Cooling mats in your car are always welcomed and available from many reputable pet stores & also vet practices.
- Internal car fans are also a great way to boost air circulation within the car, you can opt for both electric of battery powered versions and can be found at car part stores, outdoor retailers and also ofcourse many pet stores.
- If you are not going on an adventure, why not leave your dog at home in a cool room with the windows open? Taking your dog to the shops during warm weather is NOT advised and will only cause them more harm than good. As much as they love to travel and be at your side, during warmer weather they would much prefer to stay at home chilling in front of a fan or in the shade in the garden.
Prepare & Plan……Walking your dog the safe way
The sun is shining and you are setting off on your adventure…..but have you prepared properly?
There can be many elements to factor in before you leave the house, by simply having a small check list at hand you can be sure to make your trip as safe and as enjoyable for both yourself and your dog.
Things to check & remember:
What is the current outside temperature and what is the expected peak temperature during your time of travel? You can source the predicted weather from many weather forecasting websites such as www.metoffice.gov.uk with many also showing detailed temperatures for every half hour of the day. Checking peak weather times can also help you decide how long to stay out during your walk or when you should stop for a spot of lunch in the shade. If you feel the temperature is going to be too warm for your dog then why not simply cancel your trip? Going a walk is meant to be enjoyable for both yourself and your dog but sometimes it’s not worth the risk and can prove to be a health concern, instead stay at home and chill in the shade. We are sure your dog will enjoy that even more so and it will also keep your mind at ease for their own wellbeing.
Do you have enough water to take with you to satisfy the whole duration of the trip and do you have your dog’s bowl too? Taking too much water is never a problem but taking too little can be a real health concern, taking a couple of extra bottles is the easiest way to stay one step ahead to ensure an enjoyable day . Don’t forget to take your dog’s bowl too, while some dogs love to drink out of a bottle may others while opt against this. Are you unsure if your dog will drink out of a bottle? Why not try it out before your adventure, go into the garden and treat it like a real trip, this is a great way to test your dog’s reaction to the new way of drinking water and to find out if they will or will not go for it. Does your dog require a bowl? You can also purchase material dog bowls which a great for when you’re out and about, after each use they simply empty any remaining water a fold back up ready to pop back in your rucksack or pocket.
Take sun cream with you, there is many dog friendly sun creams available to keep your dog’s skin protected from those dangerous rays, after all us humans wouldn’t think twice about soaking up the sun without it and neither should our dogs.
Is your dog’s coat ready for the warm weather? During warmer weather it is advisable to make sure your dog’s coat is appropriately cut to keep them cool during the summer season, your dog groomer will be able to help advise which cut is best suited for your dog and for the weather predicted, why not give them a quick visit for advice and to book in before your trip.
Paws protection & surface control. Did you know tarmac is one of the worst surfaces your dog can walk on during warm weather? This dangerous surface can be incredibly warm to your dogs delicate paws as it soaks up all the rays and locks it in like an oven, why not stay off the tarmac and choose a woodland walk instead through dirt tracks and grassy areas it will be more enjoyable for your dog and most importantly will keep their paws safe from any potential harmful burns.
Does your trip location offer a variety of conditions? When planning your trip, why not choose a location which offers a variety of conditions such as shaded areas and a small stream for your dog to take a dip to cool down. If you are unsure which areas offer the best options, why not join a local dog forum or hillwalking page. You can simply ask the other members where they have been and what’s on offer during the trip. You can also help others by offering your own advice and best go to areas for them to check out!
Stay safe….while staying at home
If you decide a day out in the back garden is the best option for you and your companion then many of same rules apply as above and should be treated like any outdoor adventure. The upside of staying at home however is that you can set up extra shaded areas for your dog and provide a couple of extras to keep them cool. Why not turn on the garden sprinklers, your dog will love chasing the streams of water while keeping them wet and cool. Another great tip to keep them cool at home while relaxing is to soak a towel in cold water, this will make their sunbathing a little more enjoyable while giving them the best of both worlds.
Heat Stroke, what are the signs?
Are you unsure what signs to look out for? We have listed below the key points to look out for to spot the early signs of heat stroke. If you feel your dog is experiencing any extremes effects we advise you seek veterinary advice immediately.
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive salivation
- Loss of consciousness
- Excessive diarrhoea
- A rapid pulse
- Lack of coordination
Did you know you can freeze your dog treats?
A quick and enjoyable way to keep your dog’s gums cool and help reduce their body temperature. Freezing a dog chew is a fun way to keep your dog cool during the warm weather. Why not pop a Beef Trachea or a Pig Ears in the freezer for a couple of hours, simply take it out the freezer and feed ice cold. Not only are they super healthy, they will act in the same way us humans enjoy an ice pole. Your dog’s body temperature will be gradually cooled down as they work their gums and teeth around their favourite chew. Check out our full range of natural treats which are available in our online store, click HERE to shop now.
Do you have any tips of tricks you use to keep your dog cool during the warmer weather? Simply comment on this blog below, we love to hear our customers own experiences and we are sure your fellow dog lovers would like to read them too.