SUMMER finally seems to have arrived – so we can all enjoy picnics, barbecues and trips to the beach.
But although most of us enjoy summer, it can be a difficult time for our four-legged friends.
They can’t take off their coat when they become too warm – and dogs can’t sweat to cool down in the way that we do.
So we thought it would be good to provide a few tips to make summer a happier time for our pets.
Hopefully most people are now aware that a dog left in a hot car can die within just a few minutes. At the end of this article, we have provided a link to a quiz from Animal Friends Insurance so you can test your knowledge about dogs in cars. There is also a chilling video from the Dogs Trust involving a rapidly-melting ice dog.
But first, here are some helpful doggie tips for the summer. If you have any ideas of your own, please share them by adding a comment.
- If your dog likes water, you can put an inch or two of water into a small child’s paddling pool in the garden
- If you are going out and leaving your dogs in the house, choose a room that doesn’t get direct sunlight
- Always carry water for your dog on walks or day trips. Some bottles have a handy drinking trough attached and you can pick them up in bargain shops for under £5.
- If you have a small sun-trap of a garden, try to give your dog a cool spot to relax. This doesn’t have to be anything expensive – just a well placed garden chair with a towel over it will provide some shade for smaller dogs.
- We’ve already mentioned that dogs shouldn’t be left in a parked car. But the heat can be unbearable for them (and you) when getting back into a hot car after a day out. So try to park in a shaded spot – or better yet, buy one of our popular reflective car sheets to help keep the interior cooler.
- It’s multi-use and makes a great picnic rug/waterproof groundsheet too. Check out just some of its other uses here.
- Don’t over-do it on hot days. Dogs love to walk but they can easily overheat and become dehydrated in very hot weather. If you want a long walk, make sure there are shady places to rest along the way (or plan your walk to pass a country pub where you can enjoy some refreshment too!)
Dark coloured dogs feel the heat even more since their coats don’t reflect the sun as well as white haired dogs. All dogs will benefit from our reflective cooler coat in direct sunlight and it also helps to avoid coat discolouration. Doubles as a light raincoat (always useful for a British summer!).
On warm days, you can help your dog to stay cool with our budget Wet Wrap coat which can be soaked in water and then put over your dog to provide cooling through evaporation for 1-2 hours depending on temperature and activity. It can also be used as a handy towel on days out.
So, do you know enough about dogs in cars to keep your dog safe in summer? See how you get on with this quiz.
And remember, if you have any tricks of your own to cool down your furry friend we’d love to hear them :)