1. Add Ice Cubes to Their Water Bowl
Obviously, we always ensure that our dogs have access to fresh water, but, when it’s really hot then the water needs changing more often than usual. Additionally, adding a few ice cubes to their water helps keep it cooler for longer. You could also make doggy ice lollies to help keep them hydrated. Here are a few ideas: https://we-love-pets.co.uk/ice-lolly-recipes/
2. Walk in the early morning or evenings
Avoiding those peak times of day when the heat is at its highest is obviously best for keeping your dog cooler. The sun is lower in the sky at these times so the heat is lower. Additionally, there is more likely to be more shade at these times of day, thus protecting your pooch from direct sunlight.
3. Offer Wet Towels to Lie On
This is a great way of keeping your dog cool and comfy. Wet some towels and lie them out in the shade for your dog to lie on. They will keep your dog cool and encourage them to lie down and rest rather than walking about and being uncomfortable in the heat. Another option, if your dog won’t lie on a wet towel, is to fill a plastic bottle full of water, freeze it and then wrap a towel around it. Set it down in a shaded area for your dog to lie next to.
4. Use a pet-safe sun cream
Now this isn’t appropriate for all breeds, but for those whose noses or tips of ears could be exposed to direct sun (or any other part of them for that matter), it’s a good idea to buy a pet-safe sun cream. Here’s a few pet-safe sun products from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=pet+suncream
5. Take Water on Your Walks
If you don’t have a stream on your dog walks then it’s a good idea to take a travel bowl of water on your walk for your dog. Even a bottle of water that your dog can drink from your hand is a good idea. Again, Amazon has a range of collapsible water bowls here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Collapsible-Travel-Portable-Water-Bowl/dp/B005EXIDGG
6. Set up a shallow paddling pool for your dog
Most dogs are happy splashing about in shallow water and if yours is one of those dogs then setting up a paddling pool in a shaded area is a great idea. They find it a fun activity and it helps them to cool down quickly.
7. Dog paws feel the heat too
You may be surprised to learn that, although dogs don’t wear shows and their paws are hardened, they can still feel the heat in a pavement or on the sand and, in some instances, this can burn their pads. The best thing to do is to avoid long stretches of unshaded concrete on your walks. Stick to the shaded routes or walk on grass or in woodland. Generally, if it’s too hot for you to keep your hand on for more than 5 seconds, then it’s too hot for those little paws.
8. Make as many cool and shaded areas in your house and garden as you can.
Stringing up a sheet or putting up a screen can provide much needed shade for your dog. Put a few of these around your garden so they can move to a different shaded spot as the sun moves.
9. Keep out of the car as much as possible
We all know not to leave our dogs alone in the car in hot weather, but we still thought we’d include this as a reminder. The temperature in a car, even when in the shade, can go up quickly and it can get extremely high. Dogs can quickly start to dehydrate or develop heat stroke, which can be deadly. When travelling in the car with your dog in hot weather, take regular breaks so they can cool down and take a travel bowl and water with you so that they can drink at every break.
10. A little useful information
Signs of heatstroke in dogs:
- Raised temperature
- Excessive salivation coupled with thickened saliva
- Muscle tremors
If you recognise these symptoms in your dog, call your vet straight away. Then wrap your dog in damp towels to bring their temperature down, especially cover the belly and underarm. You can also use a fan to help cool the dog, but you don’t want to cool him too quickly. Make sure they have access to water, but don’t force them to drink.
Signs of dehydration in dogs
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Flabby skin
Again, if you suspect dehydration, then the best thing to do is visit the vet.
Obviously, what you want them to do is drink, so offer water or other liquids, but don’t force them to drink.