How to keep your dog safe and healthy during summer
It doesn’t matter if your pooch is fluffy or short-haired; all dogs get hot during the summer months. Although, most dogs remain active even during the hottest of days if they’re given plenty of water and access to shaded areas.
The Northern Beaches of Sydney is a great place to raise a dog. There are plenty of off-leash parks and pleasant walking tracks to keep them fit, and the local council do their part in keeping the areas safe from hazards. But, summer gets very hot and muggy and keeping your dog healthy and active during the warmer months can prove to be a task.
Here are some tips to cool down your canine during summer
- Wrap an ice pack in a tea towel and place it on their bed.
- Drop a few ice cubes into their water bowl.
- Take them to the dog park in Bayview for a refreshing dip in the water.
- Bring them inside to lie under the fan or air conditioning and try to keep them from spending too much time outside in the heat.
- Continue to walk them but offer them plenty of water along the way.
- Walk them on grass – footpaths and roads can get hot and burn the soles of their feet.
- Opt to walk your dog in the early morning or late evening to dodge the hotter parts of the day.
- Freeze some leftover meals to make doggie ice blocks!
Top breeds for hot weather living
The reality is, some dog breeds aren’t cut out for humid environments. Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Saint Bernards are bigger than most other breeds and have long hair that adds as an insulator. They can struggle in the heat if you don’t shave their fur.
Dogs with thin and short coats, like Staffies, Chihuahuas and Dalmatians can live comfortably in the heat with little discomfort.
Dogs whose origins derive from hot environments have obviously evolved to live in warm climates. Basenjis and Pharaoh hounds are good examples of these. Greyhounds, who are mainly outdoor dogs and have been bred to race, are also comfortable in the outdoors. They have a long snout that cools the air before it reaches their lungs and a big set of lungs that works to circulate the blood through their body.
Dog safety in summer: How to detect heatstroke in your dog
- Check their temperature – it should be around 38-39 degrees.
- Excessive panting
- Lots of thick saliva
- Muscle tremors
- Excessive tripping or staggering
If you spot any or all of these signs, contact your vet immediately. Cover your dog in a cold, wet towel and turn the fan on him to aid in the cooling process. Keep track of your dogs temperature until help arrives.
Dog safety in summer: How to detect dehydration in your dog
- Sunken or sad-looking eyes
- Tiredness and lethargy
- Little saliva in the mouth
- Depressive motions
- Try pitching some skin at the top of the neck and let go. How long does it take to fall back in place?
The challenge is that the above signs and symptoms can be attributed to many different illnesses. They may not even show any signs at all, so it’s best to make sure he or she has access to clean and cold water at all times.
Dog safety in summer: How to detect sunburn in your dog
I know what you’re thinking – my dog has fur! How can they get sunburnt?
The reality is that some dogs do get sunburnt, especially if their hair is light, short and thin. There are also areas on a dog’s body that usually have little hair, like the belly, nose and back of the legs.
Your dog’s paws can also get burnt on hot pavements and sand. Remember – they don’t wear shoes! The best way to check if a surface is too hot is to press the palm of your hand on it. Our palms are padded, just like their paws. If you can’t keep your hand on there for longer than a few seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to be walking on. Can’t beat the heat? try these all-terrain dog booties for added protection!
Dog safety in summer: How to keep your dog safe from unwanted critters
Heat is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. Ticks, fleas and mosquitos multiply in numbers when the weather gets hot, and they can put your dog at risk of illness.
Take your dog for regular check-ups at the vet and do your bit by doing regular flea, shampoo and spray treatments when you bath them. When in doubt, speak to your vet; they know the health of your particular dog more than we do.
Us Australians love summer. Warmer weather keeps us active and gets us out of the house, enjoying all that our awesome Northern Beaches parks, lakes and beaches have to offer. Keeping your dog cool and healthy in summer doesn’t mean you all have to stay indoors under the air conditioning every day. If you know the threats and how to avoid them, you can still give your dog the active lifestyle he or she deserves!
Wondering what we do for dog safety in summer?
Want more tips and tricks on how to keep your dog safe and healthy during the warmer months? Come and check out our friendly doggie hotel!