So far, it’s been a pretty hot summer in Britain, with record-breaking temperatures in some areas of the UK. While most of us humans enjoy the opportunity to lap up a little sun, we need to be thinking about our furry friends and how they are coping with the rise in temperatures. Our dogs often struggle with the heat as they don’t have the same coping mechanisms as us.
Elderly or sick pups often become unwell with the hot weather as they are unable to cope with the extra physical stress. Brachycephalic dogs (such as Bulldogs and Pugs) are particularly vulnerable as they have a reduced ability to cool themselves down because of their facial structure and often restricted upper airways. But fear not! There are many little changes we can make to help our four-legged friends feel more comfortable this Summer. Here are our top tips for taking care of your furry family members during these hot months...
Remember that dogs overheat quickly
Because they do not have the ability to sweat, dogs overheat incredibly fast. This means it is so important to never leave your pup in a hot car or conservatory, even if only for a couple of minutes. You can make napping and car journeys more comfortable for your pup with a cool pad, which are widely available online.
Know the signs of heatstroke
Hot weather can make your dog pant more than usual, but if you are concerned that your pet is having trouble breathing, always check with your vet. Make sure to look out for excessive drooling, a rapid pulse or heartbeat, lack of coordination, excessive lethargy, vomiting and/or diarrhoea, which are all signs of heatstroke. Contact your vet immediately if you notice one or more of these signs.
Make a splash
If you have the space, getting a doggy paddling pool is a great way to keep your pooch cool. Simply place the pool in a shady spot in the garden and let your dog go in and out of it at their leisure.
A great, enriching way to keep your canine companion cool is with some delicious frozen treats. Lots of dogs will be happy just chomping on an ice cube, however if you want to go that extra mile, you can make your own frozen dog treats at home.
Protect their skin
Keep your hound protected from the sun with a pet-safe sunscreen. This is especially important for dogs with a shorter coat and/or lighter coloured fur. It is also more important than ever to keep your dog's flea, worming and tick treatments up to date as the warm weather makes it easier for parasites to thrive.