Top tips to keep your dog safe this summer
Updated: Jul 10, 2022
Summertime can be a difficult time for our furry friends, with heat waves and long days it's easy to forget how dangerous the sun can be for our dogs. Horror stories of dogs being left in hot cars are examples of dog owners not being educated about their dogs' needs. Just imagine a hot day and walking around in a thick fur coat, how long would you last in the sun? With over 11 years of experience and lots of research I have put together my top tips for keeping your dog safe this summer.
Never leave your dog in the car on a warm day.
According to the RSPCA,
"When it's 22 degrees Celsius outside, the car could reach an unbearable 47 degrees within an hour."
You are cooking your dog to death in a car sauna. To avoid these types of situations you need to plan your day ahead. You need to research places you are looking to visit to see if they are dog friendly, if in doubt leave your dog at home.
Look up the weather forecast before walking your dog and plan your walk.
Temperatures over 20c can be dangerous to walk your dog but if you intend to walk your dog then choose forests and places with streams for them to cool down in. Field walking and open spaces are not ideal.
Educate yourself on the warning signs of heatstroke.
The Rspca has a lot of information to inform owners on the dangers of heatstroke.
Look out for heavy painting. Dogs paint to cool themselves down but in hot weather this technique is not enough.
The dog appears to be excessively drooling.
The dog becomes fatigued.
The dog vomits and collapses.
The dog appears to be heaving as they become overheated.
If this happens to your dog you need to cool them down. Drench a towel in water and place it on them, make sure it's not too cold because that can send them into shock. If the dog is struggling always phone a vet for more advice.
keep your dog well hydrated.
When on your walk always carry a bottle of water and a bowl to keep your dog hydrated.
Keep your dog cool during their walk with a cooling jacket. (The sizes come out small so go up a size if they have a long back.)
I have been using a cooling jacket for my dog to keep her cool during her walks. You drench it in water and place it in the freezer for a bit before putting it on your dog. Unlike a t-shirt they keep your dog cooler for longer because the jacket absorbs the water like a sponge. During the walk you can continuously drench the coat with water.
Make summer time fun for your dog.
Get a paddling pool for your dog to cool off in and feed them watermelon to keep them hydrated.
If in doubt don't take your dog out.
If the pavement is too hot to touch with your hand, it’s too hot for your dogs' paws. Allowing your dog to walk on hot p[avements will cause blisters and an expensive vets bill.
Walk your dog during the coolest parts of the day.
You may be in a routine of walking your dog at set times but during the summer the earliest and latest is best. Temperatures quickly rise after 8 am and don't cool down till past 8 pm.
Keep your dog mentally stimulated.
If you are walking your dog early and late you will need to break up the day to avoid boredom. Puzzle games like Nina Ottosson offer various puzzle games to entertain your dog. You can also play find the treat and hide treats in the garden or house.
Remember if it's toasty for you outside it's a death trap for your furry family member. It's not hard to keep your dog safe this summer, just remember early and late walks, keep your dog hydrated and never ever leave them in a hot car.