The weather has been glorious over the past few days, and by looking at the forecast for the next week, that isn’t going to change any time soon. Although us humans may be making the most of the weather by sunbathing in our gardens, our canine friends may not be enjoying the heat at all.
When the weather is even remotely warm, you need to be alert and making sure you are putting steps in place to protect your dog from the heat. Throughout the whole day, you need to monitor your dog closely and look out for signs of any heat exhaustion. To prevent this, you should always provide them access to indoors and outdoors – leaving the back door open is the best way to do this. They will be able to make their own decision on where they want to spend their time. If they are mostly outdoors, always make sure they have access to shade and fresh cool water.
Here are some other measures you should take to protect the health and wellbeing of your dog during warm weather.
Avoid hot cars
This is a given and the majority of dog owners would never even consider leaving their dog in a car. However, unfortunately, there are some dog owners that aren’t educated in how dangerous leaving your dog in a warm car is – it doesn’t even have to be that hot outside. Even with the windows open slightly, your car can reach unbearable temperatures in just a few minutes. Dogs don’t regulate their own temperatures as well as humans do, and think about how hot cars get for us. It is a criminal offence to leave your dog in a hot car – you will be prosecuted by the authorities.
Provide fresh cool water
Your dog should always have access to fresh water, no matter the weather. However, just like us, during warm weather, dogs tend to drink much more water than usual – sometimes even three or four times the amount. You should also try to keep the water nice and cool for your pooch – this may mean you have to replace the water every hour or so if it starts to get warm.
Walk during cooler times of the day
Always try to walk your dog in the coolest times of the day (first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening). If you are worried about the conditions, a great tip is to hold the back of your hand on the tarmac. If you can last longer than 7 seconds, it is safe to walk your dog. If you struggle to hold your hand on the tarmac for 7 seconds, keep your pooch inside for the time being as it can burn their paws, as well as giving them heat exhaustion. You may also find that your dog just can’t manage the distance you usually cover, so while it’s warm, stick to a shorter route.
How hot is too hot?
The graphic below from Petplan summarises how a range of temperatures can affect your dog. Potential risk starts at just 18 degrees celsius which many dog owners are surprised at. When the temperature reaches over 29 degrees celsius, it is dangerous and life-threatening for all dog breeds.
There are many activities that you can give to your dog during the warm weather that can both cool them down, add enrichment and generally give them a bit of TLC. Here are a few ideas:
- Make frozen banana and peanut butter ice lollies (read our recipe here)
- Buy dog-friendly ice cream – Frozzy’s are fantastic!
- Offer them a paddling pool to play in – add in other dog toys for them to play with in the water
- Buy a cooling dog mat for them to lie on