Those stiflingly hot summer temperatures are just around the corner and while most of us can relax with the air conditioning, our furry babies need a little extra help in keeping cool. Heat related incidents can be heart breaking as heat exhaustion and sunstroke can cause some serious complications for your canine pal, including collapse, diarrhoea, vomiting, unconsciousness and potentially even death.
There are some simple things you can do to keep your dog safe from heat exhaustion despite the high temperatures heading your way, so let’s delve into the 5 easy ways you can keep your furry friend comfortable and cool this summer.
1 - Avoid walking your dog during the day
Dogs are unable to sweat through their skin like we can thanks to their fur coat, but they can sweat through the pads of their paws. The ground and pavements can become incredibly hot as they’re warmed by the sun over the day, particularly when the sun is highest in the sky between 11am and 4pm. Hot ground and concrete not only prevent your dog from sweating away that excess heat through their paws but can cause serious burn injuries too.
Go for shorter walks first thing in the morning or after sunset when it’s cooler instead. Slow down your walking pace and avoid activities like fetch to help keep your dog cool when you’re outdoors.
2 – Create a cool spot in your home that your dog can shelter in
You’ll probably have noticed that your furry baby has a favourite spot in your home to cool down in, typically it’s where your home is darkest or has cold floor tiles to lie down on. It’s a good idea to create a deliberate cool spot for your dog to shelter in that’s available to them whenever they need it.
Make sure there’s a constant supply of fresh water, that the area is shaded with closed blinds and that there’s a good breeze from a fan or air conditioning through the selected spot. If you don’t have a tiled floor, some damp towels for your dog to lie on can be just as good.
3 – Groom your dog often during the summer months
Your dog’s fur is insulating and designed to trap heat around their body to protect their organs and keep them comfortable during the cold months. Unfortunately, that fur can be difficult for your dog to cope with when the hotter temperatures hit, so they will start to shed fur and grow their summer coat. Brushing your dog down often will help remove any loose fur to speed up this process and keep them cool.
Just as we feel better with a hair cut when it’s hot and sticky, your dog will probably appreciate a trim too. Towards the end of spring, it’s worth having your dog professionally trimmed down to something more comfortable for them over the summer months ahead.
4 – Your dog needs sun screen too
The sun can be just as damaging to your dog’s skin as it can be to yours, so using some pet-safe sun screen is a sensible precaution during the summer. Your dog’s fur is good at protecting against some sun damage, but if they’re just been trimmed down, have white fur or a skin condition they will need some extra help.
Make sure you apply pet-specific sun screen that isn’t toxic for them to any pink skin such as their nose, ears and stomach areas to prevent sun damage this summer. Re-apply during the day and particularly before going for a walk.
5 – Never leave your dog in the car
No matter how quick you think you might be, or if you leave the window open for them, the interior of a car in the sun is literally like an oven for your dog. On a summer day with temperatures around 40 C, it takes just a few minutes for the inside of a car to warm up to extreme temperatures. Your dog will start to pant in the car to try and cool down but instead of taking in cool air, they’re taking in hot air which will cause their body temperature to rise even higher.
Your dog’s optimal temperature is 38.5 C, so anything above this will pave the way to heat stroke and exhaustion. It can take just 10 minutes for your dog to suffer irreversible damage from being left in a hot car, so never take the risk. Leave them in their cool spot at home instead.
Why not hire a pet sitter to keep your dog cool and comfortable during the hot summer months while you’re away travelling? With Home My Pet here in the UAE you can be confident that your dog won’t suffer any ill effects from the sticky temperatures this summer and that a trusted borrower will care for your fur baby like their very own.