With warm weather officially marking the end of the UK winter, dog owners everywhere are clipping on leads and taking fido out for a walk in the balmier conditions. However, while the temperature is certainly mild right now, meteorologists like Good Morning Britain’s Laura Tobin are predicting record-breaking highs this summer.
If you own a dog, you need to prepare for these temperatures. The Kennel Club notes that dogs can quite easily develop heatstroke in warm weather – a potentially fatal illness. Here’s how to keep your dog safe and cool in summer.
1. Keep them hydrated
Dogs are like any other animal – they need water to stay healthy. That means you should always keep their water bowl topped up. If you go for any long trips with them in the car or out for a walk, you should bring along a large bottle of water and a bowl for them so they can have a refreshing sip while you do!
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2. Stay in the shade
Temperatures skyrocket outside of the shade, so check the weather when you’re deciding on a location for your next walk. If it’s looking in the high teens or twenties, opt for a shadier spot like some woods.
Also make sure to never leave a dog in a car, even if it’s just for a short space of time and you’ve kept the window ajar. According to Blue Cross, in-car temperatures during 22°C weather can reach 47°C.
3. Groom them
If your dog has a heavy coat, grooming them can help reduce their temperature. Don’t go too far the other way though – if left with too much exposed skin, dogs can get just as sunburnt as humans! If that’s the case, invest in some dog sun cream and apply it liberally during the summer months.
4. Consider air conditioning
Doggy paddling pools, ice packs, and cold showers can all be low-cost ways to quickly reduce how hot your dog is feeling. However, if your home gets particularly warm in the summer months, installing an air conditioning unit could be a good investment to consider if it fits with your budget.
This will enable your pet to stay comfortable and safe, making sure the interior of your home is a place where they can chill out and escape from the burning sun.
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5. Time their exercise
The single best tip for keeping a dog cool in summer is to properly plan when you take them for a walk. Early mornings and late evenings are by far the best times, as the air temperature is cooler, the sun isn’t beating down, and surfaces like pavements and tarmac aren’t superheated, ready to damage your pet’s paws.
Keeping our pets safe in the summer is a big part of being an owner – as well as a good friend to your furry pal. How do you keep your dog safe from the heat? Let us know your tips in the comments section below.