I always joke that I was brought up in a zoo because we have always had so many animals and taking care of them has always been something I’ve devoted a lot of time to.
We have 3 dogs (a 12 year old Lab, an 18 month old Sproodle and a 6 month old Cockapoo) and they all love being outdoors, even when this isn’t the best for them. Our old boy (Bertie) pretty much looks after himself, he has arthritis; which the heat actually helps, and can only really manage two short walks a day, he knows to sit in the shade and drinks a lot of water.
However this is the first proper summer we have had the two puppies, and let me tell you, they are mental. Both of them are super intelligent, super active breeds and they just do not stop! Realistically they need 3 decent sized walks every day to tire them out or they are manic at home, however in this heatwave this is not always possible.
BUTTTTT here are the top tips to help keep your fur babies cool, happy and safe in summer!
1. COOL COATS… These are literally the best invention ever ever ever. I found out about these earlier in the year and basically they are mesh coats for your dogs, that you soak in cold water beforehand. They keep the dog cool and evaporate the warmth from their body which helps them so much because they can’t sweat like us they can only get rid of heat through panting. I cannot recommend these enough I really can’t, it allows the dogs to run as much as they’d like without us worrying as much. I have included the link to one here but they are available everywhere for all size dogs. Cool Coats. I guarantee you’ll get people asking why you’re subjecting your dogs to coats in this weather, then you’ll show them the cool coats and see their dog in one a week later.
2) FIND SOME SHADE… A lot of dogs like to sit in the fresh air and have the breeze rather than sit inside, even if this would be the most sensible thing to do. So where you can try and help them find shade under trees, or prop up an umbrella and encourage them to stay there with their favourite toys and a waterbowl.
3) AVOID CARS… I don’t know how many of you have seen this video, but even though we all know cars are bad for dogs I thought this was insightful about just how inhospitable it is for them. Definitely give it a watch, and unless it is absolutely absolutely necessary do not take/ leave your dogs in cars. Vet sits in hot car for 30 minutes
4) ICE CUBES… My dogs loovvvee these, whether I put them in their water bowls to keep the water cool, give them something to chew or put them in their Kong Toys for them to play with and cool down with at the same time, they cannot get enough! I didn’t realise how fun it was as well as effective at cooling them down.
5) PICK YOUR TIME OF DAY… Whether your doggies are hyperactive like ours or not, something to bear in mind is the time of day that you choose to walk them. Obviously we all know midday is meant to be the hottest time of day and should be avoided, but weather apps can also tell you peak times for UV (useful for you and your puppies) and just use your common sense I guess and stick to the shade where possible.
6) WATER… Whether you take it with you in a bottle for them, or you find somewhere with water like a beach or a lake for them to cool off or its putting them in a bath when they’re too warm, water is SO important for you and your dog. Always ensure you both drink enough especially when its this warm.
7) PAVEMENTS… Its not just the actual heat we have to be careful of but what the dogs walk on too. You know how hot sand or pavements are for us when we walk on them barefoot, that’s what it’s like for the dogs all the time! Always try and walk in the shade or pick cooler times for them.
I know a lot of this is common sense stuff and you probably already know it but I have seen so many heartbreaking stories lately; especially since we’ve had the heatwave lately, and its something that matters to me so tah dah. Even if you’ve not learnt anything new I hope you enjoyed reading!
(( It also gives me an excuse to post some cute pictures of my dogs so that’s always a bonus!! ))