Dogs can’t sweat through their skin, they release heat through their pads and noses to keep cool and regulate their body temperature. With the temperatures soaring in the summer months, there are a few things that can be done to help protect your dogs and keep them safe.
Exercise; Walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening and take water with you. Don’t play high energy games, instead let your dog sniff out their favourite toy or scatter a portion of their food in a safe grassy area for them to find. This will tire them out as they’re using their brains instead of mindlessly running after a ball and overheating.
Feeding; Use a feeding toy, like a Kong, to stuff and freeze with their normal kibble food dampened down or use wet dog food or raw food or mashed banana with live natural yoghurt or doggy peanut butter. You can also freeze carrots, apples (no pips as they’re toxic), broccoli and cucumber for tasty cold treats.
Keep Your House Cool; Close the curtains and leave fresh water down. If safe, open the windows early in the morning and later in the evening to ensure air flow through the house or have a fan running.
In the Garden; Ensure there is a shady area, plenty of fresh water and don’t leave your dog alone for long. A paddling pool may be a welcome cooling addition also a damp cold towel can be laid out to lie on. There are also cooling mats and coats available to purchase, but be careful using the coats as you don’t want to trap the heat in.
Pavements; The surface of your dogs’ pads are actually skin so here’s how to tell if it’s too hot to walk your dog on pavements; If you place the back of your hand on the pavement and cannot hold it there for 5 seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog on it.
Cars; Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm day. It can get unbearably hot within a very short space of time, even with the windows open and the vehicle parked in the shade. Dogs overheat very quickly and this can be fatal.
Squishy faced dogs; Extra care needs to be taken if you’re an owner of a brachycephalic breed of dog. These dogs have smaller airways which makes them sensitive, not only to breathing difficulties, but also Heatstroke.
Signs Of Heatstroke;
Dark or red gums and tongue,
Fast or irregular heartbeat,
Mild weakness or even collapse.
If your dog show any of these symptoms, then wet your dogs’ coats with cool, not freezing, water and take them to a vet immediately.