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Top Tips For Keeping Your Canine Cool

Dr. Ciara Clarke , 12th July 2018

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Whether long or short haired, most dogs can be healthy and active in the heat, provided they have access to plenty of fresh drinking water and shade. That said, certain dog breeds have less tolerance for hot weather and need a little extra TLC in the summertime.

As the mercury rises, here are some tips to keep your canine cool:

Change your routine

Where possible, walk your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening when it’s a likely to be cooler. Be sure to bring a collapsible water bowl and take plenty of breaks.

Too hot to trot?

On very warm days, there is a risk the pavement may be too hot for your dog’s paws. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws and it is better to stick to grass instead.

Get in the shade

If there are no naturally occurring shaded spots in your garden, make one by placing some cloth or cardboard over an area to keep the sun out.

We’re big fans of fans

Open the windows, turn on a box fan or keep the air conditioning at a reasonable temperature. Your dog will love having a cool place to relax indoors if it’s scorching outside.

Water water everywhere

Ensure you dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Bring the temperature down further by adding ice cubes or offering your dog a frozen treat.

Most dogs love the water, so offer a shallow paddling pool in the shade or switch on the sprinklers. Swimming in a safe place can be great fun but if your dog doesn’t regularly swim, try not overdo it all at once. It can cause exhaustion, low blood sugar or Swimmer’s Tail where their tail can be painful for a few days afterwards.

Dogs and Cars

Sadly 2 out of 3 people still don’t know that it can only take up to 20 minutes for a dog to suffer heat stroke or even die in a hot car. Cars, conservatories and caravans, even in shade, retain more heat than any open area. Don’t leave your dog in a hot car; even with the window open. If you are worried about a dog in a car during the hot weather, the RSPCA’s advice is to call 999. The police are able to respond to these calls quicker than the RSPCA and they have the power of entry into a car. We all enjoy a Sunday drive to the park or beach, just make sure your air conditioning is on or the windows are open. And offer plenty of water and regular breaks for fresh air.

Doggy sunscreen

Don’t forget dogs are susceptible to sunburn, particularly those with white ears and pink noses. Sunburn can lead to painful blisters and long-term exposure can even cause skin cancers. There are now excellent pet sunscreens on the market. We recommend using one without a strong fragrance and apply to your dogs ears and nose regularly.

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