Don’t Have a Hot Dog This Summer

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.

 

Cooling off in the water ... Ruffwear dog lifejacket - special offer £63.99

Cooling off in the water … Ruffwear dog lifejacket – special offer £63.99

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.
  • reflecto sheet on car

 

  • 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!).

Sun reflective Cooler coat - from £23.50.

Sun reflective Cooler coat – from £23.50.

 

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.

The wet wrap - soak in water to provide cooling for your dog on hot days. From £18.50

The wet wrap – soak in water to provide cooling for your dog on hot days. From £18.50

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 🙂

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Hot Weather – Bad News for Dogs

Image

Most of us spent winter dreaming of warmer days ahead and many can’t wait to get out their shorts and enjoy the great outdoors. But although people generally enjoy the sun, few pets are as keen. (That said, we have a young rescue dog who will deliberately lie in the hot sun for as long as she can!) Of course, dogs doubtless enjoy the longer walks and occasional day trips added to their weekly routine in the summer months but it’s important to ensure they don’t over-heat. Remember, dogs have a fur coat on – so they get hot a lot faster than us – and they tend to run more so can become dehydrated quite quickly. That’s why it’s essential to keep an eye on your pet and make sure that there is always fresh water available. Here are some handy tips to keep them cooler in the sun:

Walk near water so your dog can cool off easily

Walk near water so your dog can cool off easily

  • For dogs who like water, a small child’s paddling pool with an inch or two of water is a good idea in the garden
  • If leaving your dogs in the house, choose a room that doesn’t get hot because of 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 – or you can carry a collapsible bowl.
  • 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 all know it’s dangerous to leave a dog in a parked car – even for a short period of time. But even getting back into the car after a day out can feel like you are climbing into an oven. 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 so you can use it for other things throughout the year.
  • Don’t over-do it on hot days. Dogs love to walk but they can get over hot and 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 – or even the budget Wet Wrap which can be soaked in water and then put over your dog.

Do you have tips for keeping dogs cool in summer? Share them with us here …

Summer Safety Tips for Your Dog

Most of us can’t wait for summer and warmer weather, but few dogs are sun-worshippers.  On really hot days, your dog needs extra care so make sure you follow our tips to avoid having an unwelcome hot dog in the summer.

Everyone by now should know not to leave their pets in a hot car during the summer – but many don’t realise just how quickly a dog can overheat. You should never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. Even if you park in what seems like a shaded spot, the angle of the sun changes fairly quickly.

University studies have shown that opening the windows a little  does not stop the inside of a car from becoming an oven within just a few minutes.

reflecto sheet on car

Our Reflecto sheet keeps temperatures down inside your vehicle. Larger sheets are also made to order.

If you must leave your dog in the car, do not leave it unsupervised. Don’t leave them attached to a harness/seat belt  – which prevents them from moving to the coolest spot in the vehicle.  It’s also worth thinking about our Reflecto car sheet – it covers your parked vehicle and helps to keep the interior much cooler. (It’s great for people too – saves returning to a car with red hot seats and has a wide range of uses.)  We can also make reflective cage/crate covers to help to keep dogs cool in a moving car.

Next – think about how much more you drink in warmer weather and make sure that you check and top up your dog’s drinking water regularly.  If you are going for a walk, it’s worth taking a doggie water bottle with you to provide a drink.

Summer Exercise

Although many people head to the beach at the first sign of sun, your dog would probably much prefer a stroll through a forest or wooded area where there is some shade from the sun.

If you have an elderly or infirm dog, then you are best taking walks early or late in the day to avoid the hot sun. Indoors, they will appreciate air-conditioning or a fan.  Dogs prone to heatstroke should have shorter bouts of exercise.  If your dog likes water then you can fill a shallow child’s plastic paddling pool with cool water so he can have a paddle – or even lie down in it.

Dogs can’t sweat in the way we do – apart from a little sweating through the paws. They pant to reduce their body heat but if it is very hot, that isn’t enough to prevent over-heating.

Don’t overdo it

If you are planning to take your dog over hills or across rough terrain, remember that the extra exertion will make him/her even more prone to heatstroke.  Dogs are also more prone to injury on rough ground so you might want to invest in a pair of stopper pad protectors which help to prevent torn stopper pads on the backs of their front legs. Some owners also use them as joint supports for dogs with arthritis and other joint conditions.

Long/heavy-coated dogs will appreciate being clipped for the summer – but DON’T be tempted to shave your dog.  Dogs can get sunburn too and their coat provides some protection.  Remember that some breeds, such as pug, are much more prone to overheating and need special care in hot weather. Flat-faced dogs can’t pant as effectively as others.

If you do use sunscreen on your pet, make sure it is specially formulated for animals.

Watch out for Windows

Most of the year in Britain, our windows remain firmly closed but in summer people tend to open bedroom and balcony windows to let in a breeze.  Every year, dogs are injured or die because they are not aware of the danger and can fall from height.  If you keep upstairs windows open, then close the door so pets can’t get into the room unsupervised.

Water Dangers

Lots of dogs love to swim – but many are not brilliant swimmers and can get into trouble in fast-moving rivers or the sea. Unless you know that your pooch is an accomplished swimmer, use a doggie lifejacket –

this one from RuffWear

floatcoat both

Dogs should always wear a lifejacket in the sea or any deep water. This K9 floatcoat from RuffWear has a handy grab handle.

has a grab handle to assist in the case of problems. Alternatively, a doggie wetsuit aids buoyancy and can prevent some “snagging” injuries from branches underwater.

Hot Pavements

You’ve probably tried to walk on very hot sand on holiday. Remember, how painful it was?  Well, dog paws can get easily burned on hot asphalt – so try to avoid it on their walks at hot times of the day.

People Parties

It might not sound an obvious topic to include in an article on dogs, but many accompany their owners to barbecues and parties during the summer.  Some human food is poisonous to dogs, along with alcohol, so make sure they aren’t allowed to roam free and accept unsuitable treats from other party guests.

Finally, why not treat your dog to one of our cooling coats?

Keeping Cool - protect your dog from the sun!

Keeping Cool – protect your dog from the sun!

We make  the Cooler coat – a reflective tabard to reduce overheating and it is multi-use. As well as reflecting the sun, it is waterproof and in winter can be turned inside-out to keep the heat in!

Or how about a wet wrap?  Simply soak this single-layer light towelling coat and wring out and then put over your dog to help them to stay cool when out and about.

lurcher in wet wrap

Keeping cool in our wet wrap

However you spend your summer, make sure you and your dog enjoy the good weather while it lasts and that you don’t need to make unscheduled trips to the vet!

Summer Competition Time !

The sun finally seems ready to grace us with its presence – so to celebrate, we are launching another great FREE competition.

First prize is one of our most popular summer products – The Cooler.

This loose-fitting dog coat has a special reflective coating to keep your dog cool in the sun. Better yet,  it simply slips over the head.

Your dog will thank you for it on a hot day!  The coat is also waterproof – worth knowing with the way our weather changes ! It can also be reversed in winter to keep your dog warm.  (We also make cage/crate covers and car covers  in the same reflective fabric – so no more red-hot interior when your car has been parked in the sun.)

Two runners-up will each receive a pair of our leather Stopper Pad Protectors – a must-have product for dogs that go for walkies on rough or hilly ground during the summer.  They protect the vulnerable stopper pads and avoid the distress (and high vet bills!) caused by split or cut stopper pads. Check out the reviews on our website – some dogs never leave home without them!

You can enter the competition on our Facebook page – click to like the page and you get two extra free entries!  Enter here