Keeping your dog cool in the summer
- Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim.
- Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
- On hot days, walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening.
- Watch your pet for signs of overheating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you spot these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
- Never leave your dog (or any pet for that matter) alone in a car, even with the windows open.
- Make cooking tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite food inside or stuff a Kong dog toy and pop it in the freezer.
- Be especially careful with short nosed dogs (eg bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs), older dogs and those that are overweight. They can get heatstroke simply by running around.
Heatstroke in dogs
Signs of heatstroke are panting heavily, drooling excessively, appearing lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated, vomiting or collapsing. If your dog shows ANY of these signs, move them to a cool shaded area and contact your vet right away.
Dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need their body temperature lowering, but this must be done gradually or they can go into shock.
If you’re travelling in the car with your dog this summer, you need to think about these things before you set off:
- Exercise your dog before a long journey so it’s more likely to settle and rest in the car.
- Driving long distances? Use a pet crate and make regular stops so your dog can stretch its legs and go to the toilet.
- Don’t forget to pack any necessary documentation and medication as well as everything for their normal care.
- Check out safe walks before you go – some areas can be hazardous if you aren’t familiar with them and some beaches at certain times of the year will not allow dogs.
- Get the details and contact number of a local/emergency vet before you leave, just in case. You don’t want to be caught out.
What is something goes wrong?
But what happens if something goes wrong – perhaps if a dog gets loose, is distracted or frightened and runs away?
Please download this important information and keep it handy. There are free or reasonably-priced resources you can use, to make sure your pooch stays safe, and that nobody else has to worry about being parted from their pet either.
The legislation now includes attacks or bites in your home and in your garden – so you need to know your responsibilities, to make sure you and your dog are safe from prosecution. The RSPCA has some excellent advice here.