We know that summer can be oodles of fun for our dogs, with hours spent playing in the surf with new friends or lazing at the dog park catching some rays (or even tennis balls, if it's not too hot!). But with all of that fun in the sun comes some new challenges we as fur parents need to tackle. But don’t fear, we’ve put our team of experts to the test, and come up with 10 Hot Tips for looking after your dogs this summer. Check them out below!
1) Book a trip to the groomer for a summer haircut
Your mileage may vary depending upon your fur baby’s breed, but our shaggier and thicker-coated friends in particular will benefit from a shorter groom in the summer months to minimise the impact of warmer days. A shaved belly in particular allows trapped body heat to dissipate faster than their normal coat allows. Make sure to check with your vet to see if a groom would help your dog cool off.
2) Create a dedicated space for your dog to cool off
Whether it’s inside or out, give your pup everything they need to beat the heat. Provide plenty of shade, as well as two or more bowls of water (in case one gets knocked over by puppy shenanigans), or even a cooling mat if you have one available. Just like us, our dogs love ice water, so feel free to chuck a few cubes in their bowl as well.
3) Save ‘Walkies’ for the morning or evening
This is an easy one to implement, as we imagine most of you don’t like exercising in the height of the summer sun. But despite what your dog might tell you, going walkies at all hours isn’t the best idea in the warmer months. Instead, opt for the mornings or evenings, when the streets and parks are cooler.
4) Cars and Dogs Don’t Mix
Never leave your pup alone in the car.
5) Book a visit to your Vet
These guys are the experts and know your dog and their breed-specific needs the best. A general check-up, as well as making sure tick and flea protection is up to date, is important in summer as this is when they tend to be most active.
6) Get Creative with Treats and Meals
We recommend cooling your treats when the heat starts to swelter. A fan favourite: Peanut Butter Kongs left in the freezer overnight. Tell your pup they can thank us later.
7) Hit the Water!
Whether it’s the beach, the creek, lake or paddle pool, nothing cools your pooch off faster than a visit to the local water hole. And when you can’t, having a kiddy pool around for them to jump in is sure to be a fan favourite. Always make sure they’re strong swimmers first, though.
8) Protect those Paws
When the heat hits, asphalt and concrete can get blazing hot. To avoid burning your dogs paws, try to minimise time on these surfaces on hot days, and stick to grass instead.
9) Know when to Stay Home
Sometimes, it’s just too hot for your fur baby to be enjoying summer safely. When there are hot weather warnings in place, take shelter indoors with fans and, if available, air conditioning running to minimise the risk of heatstroke.
10) Recognise the Signs of Heatstroke
This is a serious medical condition that can, in extreme cases, be fatal. If you see any of the following signs in your pup, make sure to contact your vet immediately.
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or lethargy
- Excessive droolimng
- Dry or discoloured gums (white instead of pink or red)
- A weak or very high pulse
- Sunken eyes
By following these tips, you can be sure to have a fun and safe sunny season with your dog, and enjoy all the fun this part of the year has to offer.