Top Tips On Keeping Your Canine Cool In The Heat
As temperatures rise during the summer months, we're taking precautions to keep ourselves hydrated and cool, but our furry friends need our help to beat the heat.
To help owners keep their dogs cool in the heat, Richard Setterwall, General Manager at dog walking and sitting service Rover.com, offers his top tips on dealing with the summer sun. There are many precautions to be explored within the home, but do always take your dog to the vet if you’re worried.
It goes without saying that leaving your dog alone in the car is a big no-no - even if it’s only for a short period of time with the window cracked open. With the sun beating down on the glass, your car effectively becomes a greenhouse, and conditions inside can turn deadly very quickly.
If you’re planning a car journey, ensure that there is a constant supply of fresh air circulating throughout the vehicle, and try to stop for regular ‘breathers.’
The towel trick
Overheated dogs should be cooled down gradually, not soaked in water. A quick and effective way to relieve a distressed dog in the heat is to lay down damp towels for them to lie on.
Rejig your walking schedule
Always check the temperature of the pavement when taking your dog for a walk. If it’s too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for their paws! As a rule of thumb I say that if you can’t keep your hand on the pavement for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog.
A good idea is to walk your dog either earlier or later in the day, when temperatures are cooler. Even a short walk can lead to hyperthermia, so avoid the midday sun. Another good tip is to experiment with different walking routes. Choosing tree-lined paths, for example, that offer a lot of shade, can be a good solution.
It can be hard to force your dog to drink more water, so you may have to think outside the box. Games are always a good way to entice your dog into staying cool and hydrated. Try freezing treats in ice cubes, so they have a reward at the end, and play around with flavours such as yoghurt and banana. Alternatively, water down kibble to keep them cool.
Keep several water bowls throughout the house, making sure to keep them topped up regularly with clean water. It’s also vital that you offer them water yourself in case they forget to drink. Adding ice cubes to the water dish is another nice way to keep your furry best friend refreshed.
Shade is just as important as water. Look out for signs of fatigue from the heat or sun, and adapt their environment accordingly.
Pet-safe sun cream
You wouldn’t step out in the sun without appropriate protection, so why should your dog? Protect your dog’s skin from sunburn by applying pet-friendly sun cream on exposed areas, such as their nose and ears.
Raised temperature, rapid breathing and panting, excess saliva, fatigue, muscle tremors, red eye membranes, a red mouth, and staggering are all signs of heatstroke. As long as you check on your dog regularly and don’t become complacent, they should be completely fine, but always take them to the vet if you’re worried.
Richard Setterwall, European General Manager at Rover.com, says: “Heatwaves can strike suddenly, sometimes at unusual times of the year - so it’s important to be prepared when they do. Our pets aren’t able to regulate their own comfort or monitor their health, so we need to take extra special care of them. We’re good at looking out for our friends and family during extreme weather conditions, and it’s just as important that we do this for our dogs.”
Rover.com is a dog walking and boarding service, bringing dog owners and trusted sitters together. For more information or to sign up either as a walker, sitter or owner, please visit: https://www.rover.com/uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/RoverDotComUK