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!
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.
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!
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