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How to look after your dog in warm weather

A dog may be your best friend, but summer isn't theirs. here are some useful tips to make sure your pooch stays cool in the heat.

Dog in sunglasses

Have you ever tried to take your dog for a walk in the summer, only to get outside and think again? When the pavement is hot enough to fry an egg on it, you don’t want the paws of your precious pet to go anywhere near them. Plus, there are some pretty serious health implications for dogs who get too hot, even if they’re not on a walk and we’re huge dog lovers here at Family Lowdown and want to keep your furry friends happy, healthy and safe.

Read on to find out some of the best ways to keep your dog chilled in the warm weather - there are some good ideas where which you may not have tried before and if you’re new to dog owning, this article really is a must read.

Schedule your walks

Avoid walking your dog during hot weather, as dogs are unable to withstand the heat as well as people. Even on a warm day, dogs are susceptible to overheating if they are exercising. Consider whether it would be safer for your dog to walk early morning or late at night, when the temperature has dropped significantly, or to engage in exciting activities at home. When planning a walk, consider the weather and take frequent rests in the shade.

Always keep water for your dog

Water is necessary for your dog throughout the year, especially on hot days. Always carry a bottle of water and a bowl for your dog to drink from when you are out with him.

Watch for heat stroke signs

When a dog overheats, it suffers from heatstroke. When dogs cannot regulate their body temperature, they develop heatstroke, which can be fatal. Scary but true. This can occur not only when it is hot but also when it is warm. As heatstroke requires immediate veterinary care, it is essential to know how to avoid it and recognize the symptoms.

Any dog can acquire heatstroke, but overweight, young, elderly, flat-faced, giant-breed, and thick-coated dogs are most susceptible, even if they are just left outside in hot weather. Symptoms of heatstroke consist of:

  • Heavy gasping

  • Lack of energy

  • Confusion or coordination failure

  • Drooling and mouth foaming

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Shivering and weakness

  • Seizures

If you think your dog may have heatstroke, you must act immediately. Contact your vet directly. While contacting the vet you should:

  • Transfer the dog to a shady and cool location

  • Maintain their tranquility and stillness

  • Place them on a cool, damp towel, a cooling mat, or in the breeze of a fan.

  • Permit the dog to consume modest amounts of chilled water

  • Saturate the dog's feet, ears, and head with cool water. Never use ice or freezing water, as this can result in shock

  • Move chilly water over their body gradually, but not so much that they begin to shiver.

  • If feasible, continue cooling your dog en route to the veterinarian.

Keep dog paws off hot surfaces

Sun-warmed surfaces, such as asphalt or sand, can be unpleasant for your dog's paws. If in doubt, conduct your research. If it is too hot for you to touch, your dog likely feels the same way, so try to keep to grassy or shady areas.

Utilize their energy in various ways.

Finding less strenuous ways to expend your dog's mental and physical energy in warmer weather is a good idea. For instance, if they typically run for hours, this could be detrimental in warmer conditions. Instead, you might hide their toys or goodies in a small area and allow them to sniff them out, or you could freeze their food or use frozen treats in toys or puzzle toys to excite them. You might also use treats or toys to get your dog to spend time in a shaded paddling pool. Ensure that whatever activities you select are quiet and out of the heat.

Don't keep your dog in a car

Even with the windows open and the car parked in the shade, leaving a dog in a hot car can be dangerous; the animal will quickly get upset and develop heat stroke. Ensure that you plan to prevent leaving your dog in the car or other enclosed locations.

You should avoid traveling with your dog in the car on a hot day. If you must travel, ensure that the windows have sunshades so that they do not receive direct sunlight while you are on the road. Before putting your dog in the car, let it cool down and turn on the air conditioner. Avoid traveling during the warmest periods of the day and think about traveling when there is less traffic to avoid lengthy delays. Ensure that your dog has access to water throughout the journey; non-splashing portable bowls are brilliant for this.

Maintain your dog's fitness and health

It is crucial to assist your dog remain as fit and healthy as possible throughout the year, in whatever form that takes. During the warmer months, they must maintain a healthy weight. Changing the amount of food your dog offers may be a good idea based on how much energy they are expending when the temperature rises.

It is a perfect opportunity to perform basic training and tricks indoors, where it is more relaxed, to maintain your relationship with your dog and keep his mind engaged. If you are worried about your dog's weight or want guidance on how to safely assist your dog in losing weight, always consult your vet.

Be careful if you let them swim.

Especially when the weather is warmer, it can be tempting to let your dog go for a splash. Be aware that some locations can be hazardous and may have strong currents that might be dangerous or algae and germs that could make your dog sick.

Instead, seek out clear, clean, shallow streams that your dog may paddle in to cool off, supply them with separate clean water in a water bowl, and continue your walk during a cool part of the day.

Groom them regularly

Regular trimming or clipping will keep your dog's coat clean and tangle-free and even help them stay calm. Please consult with a professional groomer since they will know what is best for your dog's coat.

Dogs, like people, need to be exercised and have plenty of fresh water available. Make sure you keep their food and water bowls filled, give them plenty of shade when they're out in the sun, and always provide a safe place to go when it's time to take a break. We also recommend giving your dog an annual check-up by your veterinarian; during this appointment, they will be able to check their overall health, including their teeth and gums. Finally, make sure you learn as much as possible about responsible dog ownership to provide your furry friend with the best possible care while keeping everyone safe!


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