Buster Blue Cross Charity Dog

Buster’s Paws – Blue Cross Charity

10 ways to keep your dog happy and safe through a scorching hot summer.

This year we can say with some confidence that it’s a scorching, hot summer. While we’re loving the weather, many of our dogs are wearing thick fur coats throughout the day. Hardly the best outfit for high temperatures.

Hot environments can be particularly troublesome if your dog is older, obese or has a dark coat as these absorb higher levels of radiation from the sun. Also, if your dog has breathing issues such as narrow or restricted breathing passages making panting difficult they will also need special care in the heat. Short-nosed dogs such as bull breeds, pugs and boxers are at a higher risk of this, so will need special attention.

Panting is the main way dogs cool themselves down. Their tongues swell up, filling with warm blood and air is forced rapidly over the dog’s tongue. The fast shallow breathing and panting helps the dog lose some of their body heat. But, we can also help our dogs stay healthy in hot weather.

We’ve got a few ideas to prevent your dog overheating that we think your dog will love;

1. If you don’t have a dog-friendly summer beach nearby or access to a safe swimming spot, why not invest in a paddling pool. You can pick these up for as little as ten pounds online or in seasonal supermarket deals. You’ll just need some shady outside space to site it. The water should be cool, but not freezing to avoid your dog going into shock on a hot day. It also needs to be possible for smaller dogs to be able to get out of the pool easily. Especially, breeds with short legs such as daschunds!

Some dogs may be nervous initially while others will jump straight in and start splashing about – no problem. Even if you can only get your dog to stand in the pool for a little while, this will cool them down as dogs release heat through their paws.

2. No suitable outside space? No problem. How about making your dog an indoors chillout zone. Take a hot water bottle. Fill it halfway and put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then wrap it in a blanket for the dog to lie next to. Remember not to overfill it, so there’s room for the water to swell as it freezes and to wrap it up before letting your dog lie near it. You can also use a bottle of water or ice packs frozen in the freezer in a similar way.

3. Does your dog have a favourite toy? To cool their mouth try putting it in the freezer for a short while for them to chew. Obviously, you don’t want it frozen into a brick. Just long enough to feel cool to the touch.

4. Filling a spray bottle with water and misting the dog will also help them keep cool. Something along the lines of those used for the face or house plants.

5. We all adore our dogs, but how about a different sort of fan Set one up at home by the dogs favourite lounging place and position a couple of frozen bottles of water or a container of ice in front of it to cool the blown air. Voila! You now have a DIY cool air conditioner system for a fraction of the price of buying a ready-made one.

6. Taking your dog out walking in the sunshine with our All-In-One Dog Headcollar? Don’t forget to use pet-safe suncream on the dog. Particular areas to apply this are the dog’s ears and nose. Anywhere the fur is thin or the skin exposed. 7. Another idea is to buy doggie cooling mats. These can be picked up fairly cheaply and hidden under blankets in the dog bed for them to lay on. The mat will stay cooler than the surrounding room temperature for up to 4-5 hours of constant use and doesn’t need electricity. The cooling is automatically activated by your pet lying down on the mat and once your pet gets up the mat it automatically recharges itself. A small word of caution: watch out for chewing. Although the materials should be non-toxic, you don’t want your dog eating his or her way through the mat. Pet Planet 8. Does your dog have hairy feet? This isn’t just an aesthetic question. Keeping the hair between the dog’s pads trimmed will help him/her lose heat and cool down. You might have heard of poor Buster’s story. One dog walk on a hot London pavement was enough for him to burn his paws. The Blue Cross treated him after the owner noticed him limping. With special booties on his feet, he’ll make a full recovery after his burns. While we all think of packing water for the dog on hot weather days, we don’t generally consider the floor temperature. If unsure how safe the streets are, you can do a quick foot test. Slip off your shoes/socks and stand on the pavement. If it’s too hot after 5 seconds, then it’s too hot to walk your dog. 9. For a super-quick way to cool your canine, add ice cubes to the dog’s water bowl. 10. And finally, while doing all of the above is helpful – should your dog overheat then please take them to a vet urgently. Heatstroke can cause serious damage to internal organs and this might not become apparent for 24 hours+. Early assessment and treatment from a vet may be necessary and life-saving. Happy dog-safe summer holidays! Enjoy your sunny Gencon dog walking time with our range of quality dog collars. Karen White