How to look after your dog in hot weather
During a British summer, the weather can be so unpredictable that you might feel as if you need to go out prepared for sunshine or snowstorms. We can all get uncomfortable when temperatures rise; your pooch is no exception. Thankfully, you can take some simple steps to keep them safe and happy. Here’s our guide to looking after your dog in hot weather.
Don’t leave your dog in the car
A hot car can be a death sentence for a dog. When it’s warm outside, the inside of a car can heat up quickly. It can be twice as hot inside the car as it is outside. You might think it’s OK to leave your dog if you’re only going to be away for a few minutes, but even that’s enough to cause serious harm to your beloved doggo. If you’re heading out for the day, check whether you can take the dog with you. If not, leave them at home with a trusted friend or dog carer.
This doesn’t just apply to cars; conservatories and caravans can also trap heat. If you can’t take the dog with you, leaving them at home is safer.
Keep them cool at home
When you’re at home, help your doggo to beat the heat by giving them shady spots to retreat to. They mainly sweat through their paws, and when they pant with their tongue hanging out, you’re seeing their internal cooling system in action! Making sure they have plenty of fresh drinking water helps the process too. You can put a couple of ice cubes in their bowl or freeze a kong with water if you have one.
Damp towels can also help, but make sure your pet lies on them, as they can trap the heat if you put a wet towel over them. Grooming them regularly can help by getting rid of any excess hair.
Walking your dog in hot weather
Your dog still needs exercise in hot weather, but choosing your time carefully is important. Avoid walking your doggo in the middle of the day when the sun’s at its highest, and stick to morning or evening when it’s cooler. You can also apply dog-safe suncream to any exposed, especially if your dog has pale fur.
If you’re going to be walking on pavements or concrete, do the 5-second test before you go out. If it’s too hot to hold your hand on the ground for 5 seconds, it’ll be too hot for your dog and may cause burned pads, which can be very painful.
Know the symptoms to look out for
Hot weather can put your dog at risk of burned pads, flystrike and heatstroke. Burned pads can be darker than usual, be red or blistered or part of the pad may be missing. Your dog may also chew at their feet, limp or refuse to walk.
Flystrike is caused by flies laying their eggs on your pooch, which then hatch into maggots that feed on them. It can be fatal, so check for signs of eggs or maggots daily during hot weather.
Heatstroke can cause difficulty breathing, so you might notice that your doggo is panting, drooling more than usual or appearing sleepy and disoriented. They can also be sick or collapse. If they’re affected, move them to a shady spot, encourage them to drink and pour cool water over their body until their breathing calms. Then, take them to the vet straight away.
We at PetStay hope this helped! Our dog carers look after every aspect of your dog’s care so that you can go away for a summer holiday or a day out without worry. Check here to see why we’re your best choice for quality dog boarding!