When the heat arrives, dogs can not only feel hot and bothered – they are at more of a risk of potentially fatal heatstroke. Keeping them as cool as possible during the balmy summer months is vital, and here are 10 top tips to help keep tails wagging and temperatures down…
1. Paddling pool
There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot day for us humans than a dip in the water – and the same goes for your dog. So treat them to a paddling pool in a shady spot in your garden filled with cool but not freezing cold water (that can cause your pet’s body to go into shock on a very hot day). And make sure the paddling pool isn’t filled so high that dogs with little legs are out of their depth and struggle to get out.
While some dogs will dive straight in and splash about, other more water-shy pooches will need more encouragement – but even getting them to stand in the water for a short time is a really effective way of cooling them down rapidly as dogs absorb and release heat through their paws. Keeping their coat wet during any hot spells also provides effective cooling.
2. Cooling mats and ice packs in beds
Dogs tend to gravitate towards cool surfaces when they feel hot, and there are a wide range of specially designed cooling mats for dogs available to buy – these are especially useful if your house doesn’t have any cold stone surfaces for your pet to sprawl themselves out on. Some of the mats work after being cooled in the freezer and others have self-cooling technology. Using freezer blocks or pads, or a frozen plastic bottle of water, well wrapped in a blanket in your dog’s bed will have a similar – and more purse-friendly – effect.