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How to Keep your Dog Cool and Well in the Hot Weather by our Canine Expert Ruth Lowden
Hi, I’m Ruth, from Ruth’s Dog Walking Services, born and bred here in Leigh on Sea, and I have a love for all dogs. I offer training, walking, home-from-home boarding in my family home, along with other canine services. Each client has different needs and I do my utmost to ensure that my business can accommodate them.
This year has certainly been one to remember, (or forget) in so many ways. There have been some highs along with the lows, however our wonderful community is working together. Lots of roads within Leigh looked beautiful with all the colourful bunting, rainbows and teddy bears in windows, a great community spirit helped to get us through these tough times.
What I have noticed is that we have lots more lovely families out walking their dogs, taking time to enjoy our parks, beaches and other green spaces. Some people have taken this lockdown time to take on a puppy, or rescue a dog, as they have lots of time being at home, either through furlough or working from home etc, and therefore finding it a great opportunity to add to their families.
With all the lovely warm weather we have been experiencing, not everyone loves the heat, and this goes especially for dogs. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes, so it is extremely important to ensure that everything is done to keep them cool and relaxed. Your dog does not sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to help regulate their temperature.
Here are some tips to help keep your dog(s) cool during these hot days:-
- Ensure there is plenty of water available in their bowl to drink, and refresh it constantly throughout the day.
- Only walk your dog early morning or late evening when it is cooler and take a water bottle with you to allow the dog to drink whilst on the walk. If you see your dog heavily panting and showing a loss of energy whilst on the walk, find somewhere shady for them to rest and have some water.
- Use towels that have been soaked in cool water for them to lie on.
- Try to encourage them to stay in shaded areas away from direct sunlight.
- Where possible, avoid going out between 11am – 3pm or later depending on the heat of the day.
- Use a garden sprinkler or fine hose spray to gently cool them down, and use in shaded areas, not in direct sunlight. Not directly from a hosepipe.
- Paddling pools are great, however, keep them in the shade so that the dog can splash around in it.
- Add ice cubes to their water bowl or give them an ice cube to lick or chew.
- Make tasty ice treats, using their favourite foods, or stuff a Kong with treats and freeze it. A lso offer them dog frozen yoghurts to lick. That is an absolute favourite with my dog Wessex.
- Always use cool water and not freezing water to cool your dog down with, as freezing water on a hot dog can lead to shock. In that case contact your vet immediately.
Points to be aware of during the hot weather:-
- Never leave your dog alone in a car, even with the windows open.
- Do not walk your dog in the midday sun. Usually between 11am – 3pm or later depending on the heat of the day. The pavements will be too hot for their paw pads and can cause burns.
- If it is too hot for your usual long walk, then go for a shorter walk early or later in the day and use some stimulation games or refresh basic commands while indoors.
- If you use dog cooling mats or toys that have been frozen, constantly check that they are intact and that the dog has not chewed or pierced them and, therefore, has access to their contents or loose bits. In that instance please remove from your dog. They may need to be discarded.
- Be aware of the tide times and if your dog has gone in for a swim, please offer them fresh water to drink afterwards as salt water can make them sick and isn’t very good for them. Rinse off their coats and paw pads with clean cool water to remove any salt.
- Be aware, if your dog does enjoy swimming, make sure it is a safe area for your dog to swim in and that the areas they are going into are clean as some ponds, streams, rivers and lakes may contain algae (including blue-green algae which is toxic to dogs). If your dog does swim in any then please contact your vet immediately.
I hope you enjoyed reading my helpful hints and tips on how to keep our lovely dogs happy on a hot sunny day.
For further information and for all your doggy needs please do not hesitate to contact me via email, text, facebook or phone.
This article features the following businesses:
Ruth's Dog Walking Services
Ruth provides walking services, training and care to dogs of all shapes and sizes.MORE