How to Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe During a Heatwave

How to Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe During a Heatwave

  • Jun 26, 2024
  • By Michelle fall
  • 0 Comment

As summer temperatures soar, it’s essential for dog owners to take proactive measures to ensure their pets stay cool and comfortable. With the UK expecting a heatwave this week, here are some crucial tips to help keep your dog safe and healthy in the heat.

Long-lasting natural chews are a great way to help stimulate and entertain your dog during hot weather, especially when walks are restricted, helping to alleviate boredom, especially for highly active dogs.

Keeping Your Dog Cool

1. Utilize Fans and Drafts: Place fans around your home so your dog can lie nearby, or encourage them to relax in areas with a natural breeze.
2. Cool Mats and Towels: Use cool mats or place your dog on a cool, wet towel to help lower their body temperature. Make sure your dog lies down on the wet towel. Never wrap a wet towel around a dog.
3. Paddling Pools: Consider getting a paddling pool for your dog. Ensure it’s placed in a shaded area to provide a cool, safe retreat.
4. Regular Grooming: Keep up with grooming, especially for long-haired breeds. Matted fur can prevent dogs from regulating their temperature. For breeds with long hair, like Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Maltese, consider a shorter summer haircut.

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car

It’s critical to avoid taking your dog in the car during the hottest part of the day and never leave them unattended. Even with windows slightly open, a car can become dangerously hot very quickly. At 22°C (70°F) outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 30°C in just 10 minutes and 40°C within half an hour. If you see a dog in distress in a car, call emergency services immediately.

Understanding Heatstroke in Dogs

Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature rises too high and they can’t cool down. Unlike humans, dogs primarily regulate their body temperature through panting and sweating only through their paws. Flat-faced breeds, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, are particularly susceptible due to their restricted airways.

Signs of heatstroke include:

• Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
• Excessive drooling
• Lethargy, drowsiness, or uncoordinated movements
• Vomiting or collapsing

Keeping Your Dog Hydrated

1. Access to Fresh Water: Ensure your dog always has access to clean, fresh water. Filtered water is preferable.
2. Offer treats like frozen fruit or frozen stuffed Kongs.
3. Hydrating Foods: Feed juicy fruits such as watermelons and cucumbers to help keep them hydrated.

Tips for Walking Your Dog in Hot Weather

• Timing: Walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler.
• Avoid Peak Heat: Avoid walking during the hottest parts of the day, typically from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Temperature Safety: The safest walking temperature is up to 19°C (68°F), with an ideal range of 12°C to 15°C.
• Hydration on Walks: Bring water and hydrating treats like cucumbers for your dog.
• Skip Walks if Necessary: Missing a walk during extreme heat is safer than risking overheating.
• Plan Ahead: Ensure any outdoor activities include dog-friendly, shaded areas.

The Five-Second Hand Test

Before heading out for a walk, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws and can cause burns.

Enjoy the Summer Safely

By following these tips, you can help ensure your dog stays cool, hydrated, and safe during the summer heat. Enjoy the beautiful weather while keeping your furry friend comfortable and protected!