Something I have discovered recently is that summer can be no fun for long haired or thick coated dogs. Yogi hasn’t been very impressed with the warmer weather and he usually hides inside panting. He has a black and white double dense coat which means it can be difficult for him to keep cool.
So in honour of him I thought I’d share my top tips for dog owners everywhere. Even if your dog hasn’t got a particularly thick coat you can employ some of these tactics to make summer a little more comfortable anyway!
1. Get a paddling pool; it’s a great way to cool your dog down and have fun. Some dogs are a bit tentative at first, as Yogi was, but I find throwing a couple of treats or a favourite toy in will soon get them experimenting with their new pool. I recently purchased a paddling pool for £15.99 from Argos.
2. Use ice cubes as treats or add them to their water dishes. This will help to keep their drinking water cool as well as provide some extra fun for them. Yogi is an absolute sucker for this he seems to think that they are magic truffles or some other delightful treat.
3. This hasn’t really worked for me as Yogi seemed intent on tearing it up but I thought I’d share it for anyone who has a non-destructive dog. Soak an old towel with cold water and lay in on the floor for your dog to lay on; another great way to keep them comfortable and cool.
4. Make doggy freeze pops! I have yet to try this but I am told it is amazing! Get some ice lolly molds and fill them with your dogs favourite things. I personally will be trying these out with gravy and mashed carrots. You could even buy a kong and fill it with food and then freeze it. It’s a great way to make their treats last longer as well as helping to keep them cool.
5. Shorten your walks. If it is very hot outside over-exerting your dog is only going to do more harm then good. If your dog is large and active then you could try walking at the cooler times of day such as early morning or late evening to avoid getting them too hot and bothered.
6. This is something I’d never thought of before until someone suggested it to me and now it makes perfect sense. Before walking your dog check the temperature of the pavement. Dogs paws can burn just like our feet and if it is too hot for your hand then it is too hot for their paws. Try to hold your hand to it for at least 15 seconds, if you can’t then you know its too hot. Some surfaces will retain heat from the sun such as tarmac. Surfaces such as grass shouldn’t and I wouldn’t worry too much about checking those ones.
7. Finally, something we have all had drummed into our heads a million times but people STILL seem to do it so I’m just going to give a friendly reminder. Please, please, please do not leave your dog in your car unattended. Dogs die in hot cars! If you must leave them be sure to leave several windows open and I would recommend never leaving them for more than 5 minutes maximum. Whatever it is it can wait. That ‘quick’ grocery shop or ‘browse’ of your favourite store is not as important as your dog’s life. Cars become very hot very fast and you can go back to the grocery store later, there is no going back once your dog has been left too long.
I hope this helps some doggy owners out, what are your top tips?