How to Protect Your Dog from Hot Weather

Summer Safety Tips for Dogs: Keeping Your Canine Cool and Healthy

As summer approaches, it’s crucial for pet parents to prioritize their dogs’ safety amidst rising temperatures. Unfortunately, every year, hundreds of dogs succumb to heat exhaustion after being left in hot cars. The RSPCA highlights a startling fact: a 22°C day can make a car’s interior soar to 47°C within an hour, posing severe risks to dogs.

Understanding Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat stroke is a potentially fatal condition that can affect dogs, particularly as global temperatures rise. Dogs are at risk when their body temperature exceeds 40°C, even if they appear healthy otherwise. Breeds with flat faces, overweight dogs, and older dogs are especially vulnerable.

However, heat stroke isn’t the only concern. Dogs can also suffer from heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Common symptoms include:

  • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Muscle tremors

If you observe these symptoms, move your dog to a cooler environment immediately.

Top Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool

1. Take Them Swimming

Swimming is a fantastic way for dogs to stay cool and get exercise. While dogs enjoy splashing around, safety precautions are essential. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs can swim. Never force a dog into the water, and be cautious of currents in natural bodies of water. Avoid areas with cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), which can harm your dog. Always rinse your dog with clean water after swimming to remove any harmful substances.

 

2. Protect Their Paws

Hot pavement can severely burn your dog’s paws. Asphalt and other surfaces can reach 65°C in the summer, causing blisters and severe pain. Test the surface with the back of your hand; if you can’t hold it for seven seconds, it’s too hot for your dog. Use dog shoes, socks, or peel-and-stick pads to protect their paws during walks.

3. Keep Them Groomed

Regular grooming is essential during hot weather. Brushing helps remove dead hair, reducing the thickness of your dog’s coat and aiding in temperature regulation. Contrary to popular belief, shaving your dog’s coat is not advisable as it can expose their skin to sunburn and other risks. Instead, trim their hair to help them stay cool.

4. Provide Frozen Treats

Frozen treats can help cool your dog down and keep them happy. Boodles treats and chews are perfect to be frozen. 

Try filling a cows hoof with your dogs food and freezing it. Or simply popping any of our hard chews into the freezer so your dog can happily chew away.

Ensure thawed and uneaten chews are discarded.

5. Limit Walks to Early Mornings and Evenings

Exercise is vital for your dog’s health, but in hot weather, limit walks to early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. This practice reduces the risk of heat stroke and paw burns. Dogs are susceptible to heat-related conditions regardless of their breed or age, so always prioritise their safety during walks.

6. Protect Their Skin from the Sun

Dogs love being outdoors, but they need protection from harmful UV rays. Use dog-specific sunscreen to shield their skin. Avoid products with zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid, which can be toxic if ingested. Waterproof, odorless sunscreen with SPF 30 is ideal. Alternatively, UV-blocking sun shirts can provide effective protection.

Conclusion

By taking these proactive steps, you can help ensure your dog stays safe and healthy during the summer months. Always monitor your dog for signs of overheating and take immediate action if needed. With proper care, your dog can enjoy the summer season comfortably and safely.

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