It appears that heatwaves are going from an occasional feature of the British summertime to a regular occurrence, so it’s becoming more and more important for us to learn how to cope with high temperatures – for our own sake and for our pets as well!
Today we’re taking a look at how you can keep your dog cool and comfortable when the temperatures soar!
You might look at your dog panting in the sun under his heavy fur coat and think the best thing you can do is lighten the load for him. Be cautious though – a groomer might be able to trim some excess fur for you, but for many dogs, their coat is a complex insulating system. Double layer coats trap air inside them, which can keep your dog warmer in winter – but also cooler in summer! If you give your dog an extreme trim, or worse yet, shave its coat off, you’re removing one of its most important tools for managing the heat!
There are a few aids and accessories you can buy that will help your dog cool down. A paddling pool is one of the most fun ones – you’ll have to choose one carefully and make sure you supervise your dog to make sure it doesn’t end up shredding the pool with teeth or claws. Fill it with cool (but not cold, as this can cause shock!) water and watch your dog splash around!
There’s an immediate cooling effect, as they’re in a cooler environment. Over time, this will lower the temperature of their coat and their core, so they remain cooler for longer, and once they’re out, water evaporating from their fur will help to keep them cool yet further.
You could also look into buying cold pads for your dog. You can put these in your freezer to cool them down, giving your dog a cold place to rest and cool off even on the hottest day. If they’re having trouble sleeping due to the heat, slipping a cold pad into their basket can help them get through tropical summer nights.
Illness in the Heat
It’s worth keeping a particular eye on common symptoms of sickness during periods of hot weather. Many less serious conditions can escalate quickly during a heatwave. If your dog keeps throwing up, for example, it can dehydrate quickly. Keep bowls of cold water on hand so your dog always has a chance to drink, and be ready to call the vet if you’re worried!