It’s hot, hot, hot at the moment and whilst a lot of us will be taking the opportunity to soak up the rays at the beach or relaxing in the garden, our furry friends will be finding the heat a little harder to tolerate.
We’ve all heard the scary stories about what can happen to our dogs in this type of heat but, it’s important to know how we can prevent our dogs from becoming ill and what to do if that horrible situation does occur!
Ok, so for most of us, walks are out of the window! However, some people may not have a choice – especially if you don’t have a garden.
- Time your walks – This one is important. Make sure you are walking at the coolest parts of the day, usually early morning or late evening. Keep walks as short as possible – toilet walks only on especially hot days.
- Location – If you absolutely have to take your dog out, walk in as much shade as possible. Try to walk near areas of water and allow your dog to paddle or drink if they need too. Stick to grassy areas and minimal footpaths to reduce the risk of burnt paws.
- Activity – Keep these walks gentle. Ditch the ball throwing and focus on gentle sniffing. Afterall, a good sniffy walk is a great replacement for high energy dogs! Find out more about the power of the nose in our other article 7 Things to Know About Your Dogs Nose.
- Water – Bring plenty of it! Make sure you take a bowl that your dog is familiar and comfortable with drinking out of too. If your dog is unsure of the super new bottle/bowl hybrid, you’re stuck! Spend some time before the walk getting your dog used to drinking from it first.
How Do I Keep My Dog Entertained At Home?!
For a lot of people, the words “No walks” sends shivers down their spine – “how on earth will we keep our super active dog busy?” Well, by using their super power – their nose!
- Enrichment games are going to become your best friend – there are tons of ideas all over the internet, a quick google will help you out. Alternatively, check out our blog Dinner Time = Enrichment & Training Time!
- Freework and Groundwork – Created by the fabulous Sarah Fisher, Freework can be a great way of getting your dog to interact with the environment in a really enriching and calming way. Have a look at our Freework & Groundwork Games! Video for a few ideas.
- Splashing fun – If your dog enjoys a good splash around in the water, consider getting them a small pool of their own. You can toss some treats in the water to create a “bobbing for apples” type game – bobbing for sprats is always a favourite!
- Training – This doesn’t need to be hard, even solidifying those basic cues such as paw or down can help dogs to use their mental energy. This would be a perfect opportunity to teach some trick training too!
- Freezer treasure – Consider freezing your usual enrichment or treats to add a cooling element to your dogs fun. Kongs, lickimats and veggies can all be frozen and helps them last longer!
Heat Stroke In Dogs
See the infocgraphic below about common signs your dog may be suffereing from heat stroke. And, in case of emergency:
- CALL A VET! Always keep the emergency numbers of your vet in a quick and easy to access location. It’s worth having the emergency numbers of nearby vets if you are away from home.
- Move your dog to a shaded or cool area. If you can, place your dog in a breeze, by a fan or air con.
- Allow your dog to drink small amounts of room temperature water. Do not use cold water.
- Pour small amounts of room temperature water on your dog. Cold water can put them into shock. Lie them on a wet towel or cook mat/surface.