Well now the heat has hit us with a bang I’m sure you’re just the same as me, with your dogs moping around the place, panting and searching for shade and cool spots. My four have all had diarrhoea and gone off their food this past week purely because the temperature has reached so high. My puppy, who should have a lunch time meal, won’t even consider eating it until 6pm. Not great for his routine or his weight but what can you do!!
It is such an important part of owning a dog in this country that we manage to keep them cool, but can also be very difficult. I thought I’d share some hints and tips with you of little things we can do to try and keep our dogs cool and comfortable.
v Minimise activity – This is probably an obvious one but many people feel cruel or as though they’re being an irresponsible owner if they don’t walk their dog or play with their dog so many times a day. In the summer there’s no need for excessive exercise and all you run the risk of doing is giving your dog heat stroke. If he’s happy sleeping in the shade, leave him to sleep in the shade. A walk either side of the sun is ample at this time of year.
v Provide shade – Again, another obvious one, but dogs don’t always have the common sense to sit in the shade so make sure there’s plenty of it in your garden or on your balconies and encourage them to lie there if they seem to be suffering.
v Have plenty of water – Remember that at this time of year the sun actually heats the water in the water bowls, so have plenty of water dishes around and refresh them regularly. We don’t want our dogs dehydrating and drinking hot water can upset their stomachs.
v Cool them off with water – Many dogs don’t see the benefit of being cooled off by water but they’ll be glad of it afterwards. Douse them down with the hose or let your dogs into your pool to cool off if they like swimming. If you don’t have a pool, you don’t want your dog in the pool or you have a dog who doesn’t like swimming, buy a little children’s paddling pool and just fill it with water to a few inches. A dog only needs to have its chest and belly wet to cool down so many dogs who don’t like swimming will happily lie in shallow water.
v Cool pads – There’s a product on the market now that acts a bit like a hot water bottle, but in reverse. It’s a pad that your dog can lie on that has cold water inside of it so is cool on their belly. Wetting a towel with cold water also has a similar effect.
v Ice cubes – There are various things that we can do with ice to cool our dogs down. Regular ice cubes can be crunched on or you can fill up a small water bottle with water and put it in the freezer so that they can either chew it to cool their mouth down or lie on it.
It is of the utmost importance that we don’t let our dogs overheat in these temperatures. Keep them well watered and well shaded, don’t over exercise them, don’t leave them in small spaces with no ventilation and never EVER leave them in the car, even for a few minutes, unless you have the air conditioning cranked up. I hope you find these hints and tips useful, and if you have any good tips of your own please add them to it.