Dog care in summer
Walking your dog in hot weather
With the help of the RSPCA & VetsNow we have put together some helpful tips and advice on keeping your dog safe during the summer months.
Dogs need exercise, even when it's hot but it's important not to risk your dogs health just for their daily walk so routines need to be adjusted. Walking in 20°C degree heat is considered a risk so extra care should be taken like walking in shaded areas, access to water and walks above 25°C degrees are HIGH RISK, particularly large, obese and flat faced breeds.
We recommend walking your dog in the early morning or late evening when it's cooler to reduce the risk of heatstroke and burning their paws on the pavement. Remember, even when the sun is down the temperature outside can still remain high much like an oven does when you turn it off.
It doesn't take long for the body's temperature to raise to dangerous levels, even a 5 minute walk in extreme heat can have tragic consequences.
So before you take your dog out for a walk, just consider this...
No dog has ever died from missing a few of their daily walks,
but dogs have died from just 1 walk in the heat !
Do you know the signs of heatstroke and what to do if you spot them?
Signs of burned pads
Try the 5 second test -Place the back of your hands on the pavement, if it's too hot for your hands, it's too hot for paws! You can also look out for...
- limping or refusing to walk
- licking or chewing at the feet
- pads darker in colour
- missing part of pad
- blisters or redness
If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke call your Vet immediately as every second counts!
Other tips to keep dogs safe in hot weather
- Never leave animals in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day (even if only for a short while). When it's 22°C outside, temperatures can quickly rise to 47°C (117°F) in these environments which can result in death.
- On hot days, use pet safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pets skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. This is especially important if your dog has white or light coloured fur as they can be very vulnerable to getting burnt. If you're unsure on the right product, please ask your vet.
- HYDRATION - Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool. - Always have drinking water available when on walks - Pet Water Bottle
- Putting ice cubes into your dog's water bowl or making some tasty ice cube treats is another effective method to keep your pets cool. You could also freeze a kong with treats and water!
- Provide damp towels for your pet to lie on or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Both simply methods could provide a welcome relief from the heat.- Check out our Coolling Mats & Collars
- If you're planning a day out with your dog, check before leaving home whether dogs are allowed. If they're not, arrange a pet-sitter or choose another, dog-friendly attraction.
- Regular grooming in warmer weather can help brush away any dead or excess hair, leaving your dog with a less dense coat - much better for staying cool! Check out Pet Hair Trimmers
- SWIMMING: If your dog loves the water then a splash around in a pool can be great fun. Just consider their swimming strength... Bulldog breeds for example are particularly top end heavy so can tire easily and may struggle to stay afloat so it is always best to provide a Doggy Life Jacket.
- Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in (although not all dogs like water so there's no need to force them if they don't want to!). Check out our Dog Paddling Pools & Splash Mats