2 October 2023
As temperatures rise in summer, it’s vital to remember that dogs experience and react to heat quite differently to humans. As delightful a time as summer is, owners must be mindful that their dogs require special care and attention to promote their health and wellbeing. Dogs are inherently highly vulnerable to heat injury, with 70°F being at the lower range of the danger zone. Symptoms of heat injuries include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, appearing lethargic and uncoordinated, and collapsing or vomiting. While situations which expose your dog to heat injury should be avoided at all costs, if you believe they have fallen ill you should take immediate steps to help them cool by moving them into the shade, then taking them to a vet as soon as possible.
Hydration is key to keeping dogs safe in summertime, and owners must ensure their dogs always have a readily available supply of fresh and ideally cool water. Dogs can dehydrate alarmingly quickly, so a little caution goes a long way. We recommend investing in special portable dog water bottles for when out and about, and encouraging your dog to regularly drink from it, especially during and after exercise.
It is also important to avoid spending too much time outdoors during the hottest parts of the day, and definitely not allowing your dogs to exercise until temperatures cool. As well as presenting a high risk of heat injury, sensitive paw pads can be damaged by how hot pavements and road surfaces become. As a general rule, if you would not walk on a surface with your bare feet, then it will be too hot for a dog.
Owners should also look for ways to help keep their dogs cool throughout the day. Offering ice cubes as snacks, access to a paddling pool, bone broth iced lollies, and frozen Kongs stuffed with peanut butter all work well. Special cooling pads, blankets, and jackets are also good options.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your dog safely enjoys its summer as well as other hot periods. A little extra care and attention will go a long way in keeping your dog healthy, happy, and of course safe during times such as this.