Keep Cool and Carry On – some tips on keeping your dog cool this summer

The next few days are going to be really hot. Dogs are very vulnerable to canine heat stroke and not all pups are sensible about keeping cool. Dogs regulate heat with panting and can only sweat through small glands in their paws and noses and often this isn’t enough to keep their body temperature in the right zone. To prevent heatstroke and other heat-related issues with your dog, here are some tips to help keep your dog cool.

1. Walk early or late

If you need to walk your dog, try going for an early morning or late evening walk to avoid the heat of the day. If you can, choose woodland walks or somewhere with water so your dog can cool off with a paddle or swim. Ursa LOVES water – but she also loves to shake vigorously after! Watch out!

Watch out for the post dip shake!

2. Protect those paws!

Please remember our roads and pavements get so hot so quickly in summer. Avoid pavement walking if you can but if you can only walk in urban areas, before you walk, place your hand on the pavement and if it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your dog’s paws. This can cause serious damage to your pet. You can protect paws with Pawz boots or similar, but better to stick to cooler surfaces, or stay home!

3. Cool spots

Make sure your dog has cool spots to lie in, whether indoors or out. Find or create shade (damp towels over the crate are great) and use a cool mat or damp towels on the ground so they can be super chilled.

If you’re short on time or travelling the gel cooling beds are perfect. We sell various cool mats in our stores.

4. Water and water play
Most dogs love to cool off in water, although not all. Yesterday we showed you our sprinkler mats which are perfect for dogs to play in and cool off. You can buy doggie paddling pools or create your own with enough water just to step in and out of for a cooling paddle.

If your dog doesn’t like this idea, using a wet towel or flannel on the legs and body will help – or if they like the hose, a quick gentle hose down. These will all help keep your pooch cool.

Drinking water: please keep a good eye on your dog’s water bowl and maybe pop a couple more bowls (or ice cream tubs) around to remind him/her to drink. Ursa loves to drink from our bird bath! You can even pop in an ice cube to keep the drinking water cool, just make sure it is fresh and clean.

5. Cool coats

A cooling coat is an easy way of keeping your dog cool, especially if you have to go out. We sell a range of cooling coats in different sizes and colours. All you need to do is wet the coat and wring out excess water, then pop it on your dog. As the heat of the day slowly evaporates the moisture from the coat, excess heat is drawn from the dog’s body, leaving them cooler, even in high temperatures.

6. Restrict play

You don’t want your dog to overheat by over-exercising, but they will often want to play, regardless of the temperature. Reduce the temptation by hiding favourite throw toys away for the day. If you have playful dogs that live together, consider separating them so that they don’t excite eachother.

7. Doggie iced treats

There are plenty of safe, delicious doggie iced treats and dairy-free doggy ice creams on the market and we sell Frozzy’s and Billy+Margot iced treats. You can also make your own at home or freeze their kibble (maybe with a layer of wet food underneath and add water).

8. Cool toys

Why not freeze a stuffed Kong or their favourite chew toy? Better still, freeze them in water in an ice cream tub and give them a puzzle to solve while they try to retrieve their frozen toy treat. We also sell special Cool Toys, perfect and safe for the freezer.

9. Grooming

Grooming/brushing your dog every day will help keep him/her cool as it removes any insulating dead hair caught in their fur.  If your dog is a breed which can be clipped, then having a regular trim at the groomers will also help. Ask the fab folk at  @Millionhairs for any further advice on your dog breed’s need.

10. Doggie air-con

This is a great idea from our friends at @Yumove. Do you have a fan and a freezer?  Freeze a large container of water – maybe a large ice cream tub- then set up the fan so that it blows over the ice and sends cool air towards your dog’s bed. To ensure that your dog doesn’t knock the fan, pop it on a high surface and angle downwards to keep everyone safe. Brilliant idea! 

Keep cool and carry on, everyone!

Bliss!

Please also remember NEVER to leave your dog in a car in hot weather, it takes just a few minutes for them to overheat and less than 15 minutes to die. Just a 2° increase in body temperature is enough for heat stroke to kick in. See this graphic from @vets-now. https://www.vets-now.com/summer/dogs-in-hot-cars/

Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NotJustPetsFrome and Instagram and Twitter at @NotJustPets – we would love to see pics of your pets keeping cool!

Not Just Pets, 1 Market Place, Frome, BA11 1AG. Tel: 01373 462068

Guest Blog from Country & Stable – Summer Safety Tips

Not Just Pets welcome a guest blog from Country & Stable this month as we head into the warm and sunny weather. There are some great tips here and Not Just Pets stocks the products mentioned in the article.

Summer is a wonderful time to spend time with our dogs. The long walks bathed in sunshine, trips to the beach, and just generally more opportunity to spend time outside in (hopefully) nice weather.

However, summer also brings with it its own set of problems for our dogs, that it’s essential we’re aware of to ensure they stay healthy, safe and happy. Here Country & Stable have kindly provided their top summer safety tips for you and your dog.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is caused when your dog’s body temperature becomes too high and they can’t bring it down to a safe level. Signs of heatstroke in dogs include heavy panting, fainting, raised pulse rates, excessive salivating, and lethargy, which can quickly lead to death if not treated.

Overweight dogs, those with thick coats, and those with squashed up faces and brachycephalic muzzle are even more susceptible to heatstroke, so take extra care if your dog falls into one of those categories.

One of the most common (and dangerous) causes of heatstroke in dogs is leaving them in a hot car, and the seriousness of doing this cannot be stated vehemently enough. Quite simply, DO NOT leave your dog in the car on a hot day, no matter the circumstances.

This article and infographic gives more information about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.

If you think your dog has developed heatstroke, you need to try and reduce its body temperature. Make sure it’s in the shade and use cool (not cold) water to bring its temperature down. You should then contact your vet to determine what to do next.

Sunburn

Dogs can get sunburned just like we can, which can lead to skin cancer if not looked after. Yes, fur can act as a barrier to some extent, but if you want to really protect your dog from the sun, then do as you would do and slap on some sun cream.

You can buy sun cream specially made for dogs – human sun lotions can have zinc oxide in them, which is poisonous to pooches. Make sure you apply to particularly sensitive areas or where fur is thinnest, such as their nose, belly and ears.

Many owners like to trim their dog’s fur in the summer to keep them cool, but be careful not to go too short, or they will be at greater risk of sunburn.

Watch those foot pads

You know when you go to the beach on a really hot day and you have to sprint to the sea because the sand is so hot? Well that’s what it can be like for dogs when you talk them for a walk on a summer’s day. Pavements and tarmac paths can get baking hot in the sun, so try and keep your walks to shady areas or on grassy paths. If you have had to walk on hot pavements, try and cool down your dog’s feet when you get home – a children’s paddling pool is great for this.

Also be aware of sharp objects and your dog’s paws. Even dried grass or straw can be extremely sharp, and can cause severe discomfort if it gets stuck in their paws.

Keep them hydrated

You know how dehydrated and thirsty you can get on a hot summer’s day, so imagine what it’s like for your dog who can’t just nip to the fridge for a cool drink.

Always ensure your dog has access to plenty of cool, fresh water. If you’re on a car journey (which you might need to rethink anyway if it’s particularly hot), then make sure they have water with them, as we’ve already discussed how dangerous it can be for dogs in hot cars.

If your dog usually eats dry food, then you could switch to wet food to increase their fluid intake.

Don’t assume they’re a good swimmer

A great way to cool off in the heat is to go for a dip in a river, lake, the sea, or a pool if you’re on holiday. However, just because dogs have a natural ability to swim, don’t assume your dog is a particularly good swimmer.

Small dogs are especially prone to becoming tired easily when swimming, as well as easily caught up in currents, which can lead to drowning. Never let your dog near water without your supervision, and if you think they’re struggling, get them out immediately. A doggy life jacket can help, but it’s still important to keep an eye on them at all times.

Also, if your dog is going to be going in a swimming pool, be aware of the chlorine levels in the pool. Chlorine can irritate skin and cause stomach upsets, so if your dog has been in a pool, try and shower it off with fresh water.

Parasites

Bugs, insects and other parasite nasties are at their most lively and irritable during the warmer months, and some may well take a liking to your dog. Keep a keen eye out for ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, and various other pests. Speak with your vet about the treatments available to keep them at bay.

Allergies

If you have any allergies, then you’ll know just how horrible they can be, and your dog can suffer in much the same way. Insects, such as fleas, and flowers can all play havoc with your dog’s allergies, and can cause similar symptoms to those we experience – itching, coughing, sneezing and general discomfort. Again, go and see your vet for the best course of action to combat your dog’s allergies.

We hope this article will help you and your dog have a fun-filled (and safe) summer.

Not Just Pets stocks a wide range of products and accessories to help keep your pets cool in the hot weather. Here are a selection of what we have online and in store.

Luna enjoying some ice cream suitable for dogs from Billy + Margot

Not Just Pets stock a wide range of Travel bottle and bowls that can easliy be brought along on walks and stored in the car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In store we stock dog safe sunscream in a stick, spray and wipes. Handy sized and keeps your dog safe from the sun.

Not Just Pets stocks Tick tools that help remove ticks and treatments that kill and prevent fleas and lice.

We thank Country & Stable for being a guest on our blog. Do you have a great summer top tip that we have missed? Join the discussion and let us know in the comments below or join us on Facebook or Twitter.

We look forward to welcoming you in store soon;

remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at [email protected] or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!

Keeping pets safe this summer

Summer has finally arrived here in Bath and we have been having some fantastic weather recently. This got all the staff thinking of different ways we keep cool and how we can help animals keep safe, happy and cool during summer.

So here are our top tips for keeping pets cool this summer

  • Place frozen water bottles on top of their cage and this will act like air conditioning as the cooler air will sink into the cage as heat rises.
  • Give them frozen fruit and veg to eat
  •  Pea bobbing! – Place frozen peas in a water bowl – Fun at the same time!
  • Ice pads are available to buy to help keep your pets environment cool.
  • keep them out of direct sunlight – move their cage or shade the room by drawing the curtains
  • Keep them hydrated – always have drinking water available
  • keep damp towels in their sleeping area to help keep them cool.
  • Do not ever leave your pet in a car for any length of time!
  • Do not leave your pet in the conservatory! – Like a green house it can get very hot
  • Travel bowls and bottles are a great way to give a drink when out and about
  • Billy+Margot Iced treats for dogs are a tasty way for dogs to keep cool! In fabulous flavours too!
  • Put rubber or rope toys in cold water and then freeze them giving a soothing chew toy
  • Reptiles can also over heat – you can use special reptile enclosure fans to ensure the enclosure has a cooler end for your pets to cool off in.

If you need to travel with your pets we suggest 

  • Use a windscreen  shade to keep them  cool and out of sunlight whilst in the car
  • Use a pet guard on the window so there can be a breeze without the risk of your pet escaping
  • Travel non spill bowls are great for travelling and keeping hydrated.
Why is there so much fuss about keeping dogs cool? Dogs do not regulate their body temperature the same way we humans do. They pant and have sweat glands in their paws and their noses, but not a lot of body heat is lost that way. So if a dog gets hot quickly, like being in a hot stuffy car, they have no way to cool down.  This is why we support the RSPCA campaign Dogs die in hot cars!
On our Facebook page we are running a photograph competition! Win a prize and your pet will have pride of place as our cover star on our Facebook page! The theme is What does your pet do to keep cool? Here are some examples of what Luna loves to do!

She loves to paddle in the sea and chase the waves

She loves the Billy+Margot doggie iced treats!

She likes to explore the rivers and streams!

We look forward to seeing your entries on our Facebook page (or tweet us!)

Let us know any of your keeping cool tips!

 

We look forward to welcoming you in store soon; remember we are open in our Bath store 7 days a week!

Any ideas and suggestions you have will be welcomed. You can follow us in many ways:

Facebook                Twitter             Pinterest

 We are now on Instagram! – notjustpets Follow us and see some fantastic photos!

We run regular photo competitions, quizzes, offers and promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so why not “like” or “follow” us today! 

Get in touch via any of the above, or via our website or email at [email protected] or telephone us on 01225 461461. Or simply pop in, you’ll be welcome!