Keeping your dog cool in the summer
By Sarah Groves Dog Training - your puppy training specialist covering Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea
Summer is FINALLY here - get your shorts on, sun cream out and lollipops ready!
It's easy for us to keep ourselves cool in this weather, but what about our dogs?
Here are some of my TOP TIPS for keeping your beloved dog safe and cool this summer!
Tip #1 - Change up your walking routing
Infact, I geneally advise to mix up times and routines of walks through the year anyway so that when it comes to summer and winter, you are able to walk your dog at a different time without your dog building an expectation of when walktime should be.
Walk your dog first thing in the morning before the temperature hits 20 degrees, or late in the evening once it's cooler outside.
Tip #2 - Consider no walks for that day
ESPECIALLY if you have a brachycephalic (short nosed) breed such as pug, french bull dog or english bulldog.
This time of year the vets see a massive increase in cases of heat stroke and dogs who have collapsed due to the intense heat.
If it is very hot, then it won't do your dog any harm in not going for a walk!
Instead, provide your dog with lots of enrichment and mental stimulation to keep them entertained.
Tip #3 - Keep your dog's feet and pads cool
Your dog will heat from panting and via their pads.
I will usually soak my dog's feet through the day and leave a wet towel on the floor in an area where my dog is likely walk over it.
Tip #4 - Cooling products
There are tonnes of different cooling products out there in the pet stores these days which will help during the summer.
Some products include:
- Paddling pools
- Cooling mats
- Cooling bandanas
- Chew toys to put in the freezer
Tip #5 - Stuff a feeding toys and freeze
Take advantage of all of your dog's feeding toys such as the Kong or Licki mat.
Fill the kong with your dog's own food allowance and favourite food then freeze, or put some spreadable food on a licki mat and freeze.
If your dog enjoys a carrot then there's no harm in throwing a couple in the freezer to give to your dog now and then.
Keep an eye for signs of heatstroke
Warning signs of heatstroke include
Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
Collapsed or vomiting
If you spot any of these signs, contact your vet immediately.