Top tips to help your dog cope the summer heat
Summer is well and truly here (and we love it!) but sometimes our little pals aren’t quite as stoked as we are. Dogs don’t sweat through their skin but rather pant and release heat through their paw pads and nose to keep cool. If we’re not careful, the heat can get the best of them through dehydration, heat stroke, sunburn and burnt food pads.
So how can we keep our dogs chilled and cheerful as temperatures soar?
- First to get the obvious out of the way, make sure your pup has access to fresh water at all times. You can also add ice cubes to the dish to keep the water cool.
- If they’re outside for a long period, make sure they have a shady place to hang out.
- You can also wet a towel or give them an ice pack to lay on for a bit of instant relief.
- Whip up some frozen treats for your dog – we suggest a mixture of some cooked meat, veggies and gravy.
- Try to keep their exercise and playtime to the early morning or evenings when temperatures are cooler.
- We’ve got a list of our favourite dog walking spots in Sydney where your dogs can go for a swim!
- When you do go walking, think about taking a collapsible water dish with you.
- If you can, avoid walking on hot ground or pavement – or consider booties to insulate their feet
- Before you rush to shave your dog: There can be some drawbacks to this solution, including a sudden lack of insulation and decreased sun protection. If you’re not sure, ask us for advice!
So, you’ve taken these precautions but what if you think it’s too late? Here are some signs to tell if your dog could be suffering from dehydration or heat stroke:
- Lethargy and tiredness
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- You can also pinch a fold of skin at the top of their neck. If it’s slow to snap back it could mean dehydration
- Raised temperature (about 38°C to 39.2°C is normal)
- Rapid breathing and panting
- Excess or thickened saliva
- Fatigue or depressive mood
- Muscle tremors
If you think your dog might be suffering, move them to a cool place, wet their coat and give them some water (cool not freezing). Then contact your vet immediately to be on the safe side.
We all love to get outdoors on these warm sunny days so consider these options to keep your dog cool and happy!