We are coming up to Summer now and dreaming of the sun and warmer weather, but with it comes a few things to keep in mind for our furry family members. Certain breeds have a harder time with the heat than others, such as flat-faced or giant breeds, dogs with double or thick coats or older and overweight dogs, but all pups can feel the heat at this time of year. Just make a few adjustments to your normal routine, add a few yummy refreshing treats and toys to play with and you’re set for a fun filled Summer!
Before walking your dog on any pavement in the summer you should check yourself how hot it is before you put your pups paws on it. You do this by placing the back of your hand down on the pavement, if you can’t keep your hand there for 5 seconds or more without feeling uncomfortable, it’s too hot for your dogs paws to be on as well.
Try to schedule your walks to be in the morning and in the evening to avoid the hottest points of the day between 12-4pm and stay in the shady areas. If it is too warm outside switch to short burst of garden time, in the shade and possibly with something cool to lounge or water to play with instead of a walk.
Do not leave your dog unattended in a car, even for a short amount of time in the summer, the heat in a car can rise in such a short amount of time. If you see a dog in a car alone on a hot day, do call 999. Make sure you know the signs of Heatstroke.
If you are travelling with your pup or cat in your car, make sure to make regular breaks to allow them water and keep the car as cool as possible throughout your trip.
Pools & Streams
If you’re out on a walk a great way to cool down (and lots of fun!) is to plan to arrive at a stream or pond that your dog can have a good splash, drink and lounge in part way around your route.
If you’re at home a fun game for any pup is enjoying some fun in a kid’s or pet paddling pool! Fill up with cold water, maybe throw some toys or frozen treats in to give lots of exciting play time and a great way to stay refreshed.
Frozen treats, ice lollies and pup pops can be great for something to cool down and be interactive at the same time for both dogs and cats! This can simply mean freezing the Kong filled with treats that you usually give your dog to make it last longer and give a cool burst. Or making your own ice lollies out of broth or yoghurt, treats, veg and fruit for hours of licks! PDSA has some interesting recipes here for both dogs, cats and small pets.
You can also take a look at Canine Enrichment’s page on Facebook for other people’s exciting experiments to find what your dog loves!
Cool Mats and Cool Coats/Damp Towels
You can purchase Cool Mats or Cool Coats that have a cooling centre, you pop them in the fridge for an hour or so and then pop them down for your dog or moggy to lie on or wear to help them stay cool. You could also dampen a towel in cool water (not ice!) and pop that down in the garden or house as a cold spot to lay on, or drape the towel over your dogs shoulders after wiping down cold water on the back of their neck and nape of their neck.