It’s set to be another toasty few days, but as we strip down to the bare essentials our four-legged friends can’t shed their coats quite so easily, so here are our top tips for keeping your best friend cool and enjoying the sunshine safely, together.
#1 WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
It’s super important to make sure that the water bowl is full of clean water any time of the year but especially so when the sun has got his hat on. And don’t forget to add a bottle of water to your dog-walking tick-list before you head out for a walk.
Whilst you have the hosepipe out for your thirsty plants, it may be an opportunity for a bit of spray play with your woof. For some, it is a favourite game but be careful not to over exert. And for those tempted by the paddling pool, just make sure that the water isn’t too cold before your four-legged fur baby jumps in as this can lead to hypothermia.
#2 TRY TO AVOID LONG JOURNEYS
As the country opens up, we all want to jump in the car and head a little further afield, it just needs a little planning. Make sure the windows are open and cool air is circulating and regular water and fresh-air breaks are a must.
NEVER leave your dog in a parked car. Not even in the shade. We’ve all heard the horror tales so there’s no excuse. And we’ve all experienced how astronomically hot it can get in a locked car as we return to it after even a short period of time and wince as the hot seat touches our skin. Imagine how that would feel if you had a fur coat on? It can take just 15 minutes for them to overheat.
As temperatures rise, try to plan your walks to suit. We love our early morning and evening walks with our four-legged friends as they set us up for the day and clear our minds at the end of the day. But they also tend to be the cooler times of the day, for everyone, and avoid the sun at its hottest.
And whilst a swim in a river or stream is cooling, make sure that they take breaks (just as when walking or playing in the garden or park)as too much can cause exhaustion.
#4 TOO HOT TO HANDLE
On particularly hot days, the pavement could get too warm for your best friend’s paws. A good way to check is to touch it with your hand, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. If so, and even if you are unsure, stick to the grass.
#5 DON’T FORGET THE SUNCREAM
Just as with us hoomans, we need to protect our woofs from the sun’s rays, ensuring there are shady spots in the garden but also having suncream to hand (or paw!) Light-coloured or thin-coated dogs, like West Highland Terriers, tend to be more susceptible but even those with just a white nose or ear count in this category. So invest in some special doggy sun-cream for those vulnerable spots, to prevent nasty blisters and possible skin cancer.
** KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THESE SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE:
Heavy panting and a rapid pulse
Lack of coordination
Vomiting or diarrhoea
Loss of consciousness
Please, if you think your dog has any signs of heatstroke, contact your vet immediately.