Seeing hot weather on the forecast is exciting for us, especially when we’ve been in lockdown for so long, but we need to make sure we’re taking care of our four-legged friends. They aren’t able to regulate their body temperature as well as we can, so here’s some ideas from our team of experts for keeping them cool.
The number one thing is to always allow access to plenty of fresh drinking water.
For a special heatwave treat, make up an ice cube tray with some of their kibble in water, or you could experiment with other flavours like chicken stock, banana or carrot for refreshing dog lollies! You could also try freezing a kong toy stuffed with their usual kibble (taken from their daily allowance) soaked in water.
Take a dip
Some dogs love splashing around in water. If you have a sprinkler or a paddling pool in your garden you can throw in toys to add to the fun, or alternatively pick a route for your morning or evening walk where there is access to clean water they can paddle in, such as a stream.
Find alternatives to your usual walks
Try to avoid going out in the middle of the day when the sun (and the floor!) is at it’s hottest.
If you have to take your dog out during the hottest part of the day, take them under the shade of a tree for a sniff about rather than your usual route.
You can take towels or a cool blanket with you, which can be soaked in cool water to drape over your dog.
Be aware of hot surfaces and enclosed spaces
Sometimes we don’t realise how hot a surface is when we are wearing shoes but it is important we consider our dogs’ paws and their risk of overheating.
Encourage them to rest on a cool surface like a tiled floor or a cool mat if you have one – these can be used in the car, too.
With the increasing popularity of artificial grass in gardens, remember that in full sun an artificial lawn will be considerably warmer than natural grass. If your dog is outside always ensure they have access to shade and fresh water.
Never leave your dog enclosed in a hot conservatory or car. A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees outside, it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour in a car. Find more advice on the RSPCA website.
Get some Zzz
We can all feel tired on a hot day, so allow your dog to get a nice restful sleep for as much of the day as possible. If you have a fan, allow this to circulate cool air in the area where they are sleeping or open a door to let the breeze in.