When the weather heats up, it's really important that we're not only aware of how to keep our dogs cool but that we do as much as possible to avoid over heating, exposure to too much sun, walking on too hot surfaces but at the same time providing our dogs with exercise and fulfilling their day.
Each breed will differ but taking particular care and understanding for the thick/longer coated breeds, puppies and Brachycephalic (short-nosed) dog breeds. As regulating temperature isn't the same as we do through our skin, dogs will regulate by panting, through their paw pads and nose. Hopefully you will understand why it really isn't advisable to walk your dog in the extreme heat or mid day heats where not only air temperature rises but things like patio's, decking, tarmac will hold the heat and be at an even higher temperature making it not only painful for the dogs but also will NOT help them regulate their temperature through their paw pads.
So when we're on a restricted walking regime, it's possibly stuffy in the house, how can we help provide all we can for our furry friend, well here's some of my TOP TIPS :-
• Always provide plenty of fresh cold drinking water
• Allow access to all the cool spots of the house, even if it's in a room you don't normally allow the dog, give them choices of places to settle
• Walk your dog very early and late at night, even if this means disrupting a routine, keeping your dog cooler when walking is essential, if shorter routes chosen by your dog, then this is fine (take water with you)
• Provide mental enrichment for your dog for their food, I like frozen kongs, ice pops from chicken broth (always size appropriate)
• Scent work games where the dog finding bits of food or toys, keeping low energy and focused (for more ideas on this please ask about scent work games workshops that run at My Happy Dog Training & Behaviour School.
• Cooling jackets & bandanas can also provide a lot of relief to dogs.
• Paddling pools with shallow paddling available to walk through, avoid any excessive retrieving from a water source, as your dog may be at risk of Water Intoxication
• Raised beds with a mesh topping are great in a shaded area with a cool breeze so air flow can move around the body.
• Wetting down area's outside that the dog walks over to keep cooler.
• Teach your dog some new tricks with any objects, like a paws on, nose targeting, chin rests there's so many cool tricks that will get your dog thinking and tire them out rather than those long walks.
Hope there's ideas there to keep you and your dog safe during any hot periods.
Avoid travel if you can and NEVER leave in the car, the inside of the car even with Air Conditioning (if they're in the boot) can be way too hot for the dogs, just stay safe and think it through.
I can't believe it when I see people walking their dog when it's really warm midday, it's cruel and you are the responsible one here, be careful and keep cool.
If your dog is showing any of these signs it's possibly suffering with Heat Stroke :-
• Excessive drooling & panting
• Red or Purple gums & tongue
When seeing these signs in the first instance find somewhere cool, wet a towel with cool water and drape over the dog (never pour cold water over the dog), place a fan nearby to offer a breeze and call your vet.
Stay safe everyone and please share.