How to keep your dog cool in summer

How to keep your dog cool in summer

Things are heating up here in the UK. While this is great news for anyone planning a BBQ or a weekend fishing trip, your dog might not enjoy the heat so much. After all, they can’t take off their coat.

No matter how big or fluffy they are, the heat can be dangerous for all breeds of dogs. However, if you take all the proper precautions, there’s no reason why you and your best friend can’t enjoy the sun together.

Here are some tips for keeping your pooch safe during summer:

Walk them in the early morning and late evening

Your dog is most at risk when it’s mid-afternoon and the sun is high in the sky. Make sure to limit your dog walks to the early morning and late evening when the air is coolest and there’s plenty of shade. During the day, try to prevent your pooch from doing any heavy exercise, and make sure they have plenty of water.

Take a water bowl on your walks

Make sure you never go anywhere without your dog’s water bowl, especially during a heatwave. Even light exercise in the shade can cause dogs to overheat, so it’s important you’ve got a refreshing drink on hand for your pup. Going somewhere in the car? Try our handy Road Refresher Non-Spill Water Bowl, ideal for hydrating your dog on the go.

Shorten the walk, or skip it altogether

It’s important to be aware of the temperature during summer months and heatwaves. Although the UK generally has a mild climate, some days the temperature can rocket, making it unsafe for dogs to do any prolonged exercise. If the temperature is less than 25°C, young healthy dogs should be fine on their regular walk (but make sure to stick to the shade). If the temperature is higher than 25°C, consider shortening your walk or skipping it altogether, especially if your dog is overweight, elderly or short-nosed.

Give them something cool to lie on

Dogs don’t sweat like we do, so it’s harder for them to regulate their body temperature. Help them out by giving them something cold to lie on, like a damp towel or a mat. Try the Scruffs Dog Cool Mat, a self-cooling mat that helps give your dog some much-needed relief in summer months.

NEVER leave them alone in the car

You should never leave your dog in the car, not even for a few minutes with the windows down. Cars become like an oven in heatwaves, and even a short amount of time in the car will be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for them.

Take your pup swimming

Swimming is a great way to exercise your dog in the summer months – but only if they enjoy it! Make sure you keep an eye on currents and only take them swimming where you know it’s safe.

When they’re sopping wet and ready to jump back in the car, let them chill out on our Scruffs Noodle Dry Mat. This handy mat is super absorbent, perfect for protecting your car or floor from your pup’s soggy paws.

Keep them well groomed

This one is essential for long-haired pooches! Make sure you keep them well-groomed, ensuring to get rid of any knots and tangles. Not only does this help your dog stay cool, it also reduces the risk of any nasty insects making a home in their coat. If you’re not sure how best to trim their fur, ask a professional groomer for advice.

Watch out for signs of overheating

Even if you follow all of the above tips, it’s still important to keep an eye on your dog to make sure they’re happy and healthy. Any dog can suffer from overheating, but large, overweight, short-nosed and elderly dogs are at a much higher risk.

Here are some warning signs to look for in hot months:

Heatstroke symptoms:

  • Excessive panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • Drooling
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Lethargy or loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

Dehydration warning signs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Excessive panting
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Weakness
  • Loss of skin elasticity

If you think your dog might be suffering from heatstroke or dehydration, contact a vet immediately.

Your pup is welcome here

We love meeting new four-legged friends! You and your dog are always welcome in our John Norris Penrith store. We even have a water bowl and some treats ready – simply ask at the till and our staff will be happy to help your pooch.

Happy summer!