How to Look After Your Dog This Summer

6 Tips On How to Keep Your Dog Cool In Summer

We all love summer, being out in the warm sunshine, going to the beach, BBQ’s galore but what happens when we are at work and the temperatures are soaring for our loved pooches! We have a few tips to help your pooch cope with the heat but also give you an insight into some of the signs of heat distress!

1. Provide Shade

Provide plenty of shade and shelter in your yard or garden for your dog to stay cool. Dogs can actually get sunburned! With their thinner fur and pinker skin, dogs are more susceptible to sunburn damage than humans. Dogs with light-colored fur, or those with short fur, are the most vulnerable to sunburn.

Additionally, dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors or in the sun are at greater risk of developing sunburn, as are those with conditions like skin allergies or autoimmune diseases. To protect your pup from sunburn, you should use pet-safe sunscreen and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight for long periods of time.

2. Plenty Of Fresh Water

Make sure you give your dog access to plenty of fresh and clean water to drink throughout the day. On hot summer days, dogs need a lot of water. Your pooch needs clean fresh water daily – and a lot of it! Hydration is key. They may also enjoy snacking on hydrating foods like watermelon (in moderation).

Don’t use a small little dish for their water, if in doubt fill up a big bucket so they have a large supply. They will often put their paws in the water to cool themselves down also. If you have a small kiddies pool they are also great for your dog to have a soak and cool down.

3. Walk Your Dog In The Cooler Hours

Take your dog out for walks during the cooler parts of the day (early morning or late evening). Dogs can easily get severely dehydrated in the heat and overheat which can be fatal! Walk your dog in the mornings or at night when it isn’t too hot.

4. Cool Off In The Water

If your dog loves to swim, provide them with a kiddie pool or bring them to a nearby body of water to help cool off. Lucky you if you live by a lake, river or beach that's dog-friendly! Water loving dogs will always have a blast splashing around and the water provides a great reprieve from the hot weather.

If you don't have any of these options, you can bring your dog inside to enjoy the air-conditioning or provide them with a cooling vest. Yes, they exist! They are vests worn by your dog and are designed for small cold packs to be placed inside the vest keeping your pooch cool.

5. Avoid Hot Surfaces

Avoid walking your dog on hot surfaces such as pavement, which can burn their paws. Instead, walk your dog on grass or dirt and provide a pair of booties if necessary.

You can also use a paw balm to help provide a protective barrier to protect your dog's paw from hot pavements.

6. Bring Your Dog Inside

Bring your dog inside! For some people that have dogs that are only “outside dogs” bring them inside and set up a secluded area for them, i.e. in the kitchen, laundry or bathroom. Due to the hot weather they often won't be very energetic and are more likely to lay down and keep cool. If they are going to remain outside, it’s essential they have adequate shade out of the sun. They must also have constant supervision to ensure they are not showing the signs of dehydrating or overheating.

Signs of Dehydration:

  • Nose – Dry and chapped (snout soother can help alleviate this)
  • Warm to touch
  • Lethargic and visibly tired
  • Mouth – Dry mouth with think saliva
  • Excessive panting
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Unsteady and wobbly on feet
  • Dark concentrated urine

If you see any of these warning signs you need to act fast, as if untreated it can be fatal. Please consult your veterinarian if your pooch is showing one or more of these signs.