What can you do for dogs during hot weather to keep them cool?

The recent heatwave across Britain has seen many of us experiment with ways of keeping cool amid scorching temperatures. If it’s bad for us, then imagine what our pet dogs must be going through under their thick layer of fur.

It is more difficult for dogs to cool themselves down as they are unable to sweat like us, instead having to pant. Overheating can be a severe risk, and could even lead to serious illnesses such as heatstroke.

Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, dribbling, unstable balance and lethargy. Should your dog have these symptoms, you are advised to contact your vet immediately.

Read more: Aldi to sell ice cream for dogs this summer for just £2.99

To avoid reaching to a scenario like that, there are plenty of things a dog owner can give their four-legged friends during hot weather to keep them cool.

Lots of water

Water is an essential part of a dog’s wellbeing all year round. However, this becomes especially pronounced during the summer months, when dehydration is more likely.

Supplies of water should be regularly topped up on a scorching day and if you’re heading out, make sure you take a bottle of water and a bowl for them to drink from.

Weather-dependent toys

It is important to ensure your dog doesn’t burn out from strenuous activities under the baking sun. It is therefore a good idea to use up your dog’s mental and physical energy in different ways.

These could include using frozen treats in food puzzle toys to keep them stimulated, or hiding toys in small areas, in cooler conditions, to encourage them to sniff them out. Toys or treats could also be used to encourage your dog into a shaded area or possibly even into a paddling pool.

A cool room

This is a tip which applies to humans as well as dogs when it comes to keeping cool. When temperatures soar, pets and their owners may seek out the coolest room in the house, which may be one with a tile floor.

Cool rooms can be created by setting up a fan, closing the curtains on the sunny side of the house and opening the windows to let in whatever breeze may be present.

Ice packs and cool pads

Cooling mats are the perfect place for your pup to lie to find respite from the heat. These can be made with a damp towel, regularly refreshing it with cold water as it starts to warm up.

A groom

Regular grooming is especially important if your dog has a heavy coat, as all the loose fur acts as insulation. A daily brush can contribute to keeping them nice and cool.

It is worth speaking to your vet about this as some dogs have fur designed to protect them from the sun, and cutting it could actually prove detrimental. Those of us who are not the most confident with clippers have professional groomers as a possible option.

Early or late walks

Giving your dog a walk at the height of that day’s temperatures could be dangerous as they may overheat. The coolest temperatures are found either early in the morning or late in the evening, and these are the most comfortable conditions for dogs.

You should also ensure regular stops are added to your route, preferably coming in shadier areas.

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