Keeping your dog cool is vital, but that doesn’t mean you can’t all have fun!
It’s an obvious one, but choosing to walk your dog at cooler times of the day during a heat wave is always good plan. We often get up an hour earlier in the summer and head to the park. It’s much cooler and means the dogs still get a chance to run around and play, as the park is often empty. It’s still important to carry water to offer your dog throughout your walk and remember to take breaks in the shade if your dog starts to get tired.
When you are out with your dog, watch for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water. Remember, if you place the back of your hand on the pavement and cannot hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog.
Swimming is an excellent exercise for dogs and a great alternative to walking in the summer heat. However, remember not all dogs like to swim so don’t force them. A great alternative is a paddling pool in the garden.
Just like us, dogs drink more water when it’s hot, which means making sure they always have access to cool water. Add some ice cubes to your dog’s water bowl to chill it quicker or give them straight to the dog so they can munch on them.
If your dog loves to play with toys, keep some in the freezer to help keep them cool during play. During a heat wave we always have a Kong in the freezer filled with the dogs’ favourite treats.
This weather also gives you a chance to teach your dog some new tricks and give them the mental simulation they may need due to the shorter daily walks. We're currently learning high-five!