THE HEAT IS ON! KEEP YOUR DOG COOL

It looks like there could be some sunshine around the corner, and while that may be great for topping up our tans, with the hot days comes a responsibility. Just as we should apply sun cream, there are some do’s and don’ts to consider when it comes to our dogs. Find our how to keep your dog cool and how the heat of summer can affect your dog, with some easy ways to reduce this. Here’s how to keep your best friend happy through the warmer months:

 

dogs having a drink of water

Hydration

Your dog will get through much more water in the hotter weather than at any other time of the year, so don’t forget to keep their water bowl topped up. It’s a good idea to increase the number of bowls you put out, and spread them around the house and garden.

Consider having an extra washing up bowl to fill up with water and place in a shady part of the garden.

Remember when you take your dog out to take plenty of water with you and a portable bowl so you can hydrate on the move.

 

 

 

 

pug waiting for tin of dog food

Wet dog food

Wet dog food contains a significantly higher moisture content compared to dry kibble, making it a valuable source of hydration for your pet. This can be particularly beneficial during periods of hot weather, increased activity, or for those with certain health conditions that require increased water intake. By feeding Butcher’s wet dog food, this can help contribute to their hydration as well as being a nourishing, complete meal.

dog eating a frozen kong

Frozen Kong

Why not make some homemade iced treats for your dogs to enjoy in the heat? Try freezing your dog’s favourite Butcher’s recipe in a Kong for a hydrating summer treat. Perfect for keeping your dog mentally stimulated in the warmer weather (especially as wet dog food has a higher water content). See our video on Instagram to show you how here.

dog in the shade

Exercise

Where possible, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day. Ideally, aim to finish a morning walk before noon, and wait until after 6 pm in the evening. If this isn’t feasible, there are a few extra measures you can take to keep your dog happy and healthy on a summer walk. Try walking through woodland, where the temperature can drop several degrees and there is plenty of shade.

Whenever you walk your dog, be sure to check that the pavement isn’t too hot to walk on. We have shoes to protect our feet, but they only have pads, and they can burn! A general rule of thumb is to place the back of your hand on the pavement for 5-10 seconds – if you can do this without discomfort, then you’re good to go!

pug with ice cube

Temperatures and heatstroke

It’s always better to take your dog for a shorter walk rather than risk them getting heat stroke (where the dog is no longer able to regulate its own body temperature through panting and sweating through their pads).

So when is hot too hot?

Let’s start with the breed – if you have a short-nosed, elderly or overweight dog or puppy, it will find it harder to cope, so be extra careful. Humidity is also a factor- your dog will suffer more in higher humidity, just like we do.

A temperature guide:

21 degrees – It’s safe to walk your dog at this temperature, just be sure to take water with you and find shady areas.

25 degrees – The pavements and tarmac will be too hot to walk on – it will only take 60 seconds to burn the dog’s pads. Avoid walking your dog.

29 degrees – Dogs are prone to heatstroke at this temperature, do not walk your dog.

32 degrees – This temperature can be life-threatening if dogs are exposed for long periods.

dog in a swimming pool

Handy tips at home

An easy way to keep dogs cool at home is to use a cool mat – these are available from most pet stores. Or get a spray bottle to fill with cool water to mist your dog.

Better yet, why not treat your pet to a paddling pool in the garden to stay cool? Just fill it according to your dog’s size. Alternatively, you could try making the base of your shower a place for your dog to go and cool down. Ceramic trays are the most effective, but you can always put a centimetre of water in it…or even your damp towel!

If you don’t have parts of the garden that give natural shade, then get creative. Find an old sheet and peg one end to the washing line and the other end to something else like a fence post, creating your very own awning.

Keep your dog cool

By taking a few simple measures you can ensure your dog enjoys the summer just as much as you do! Keep an eye out for the signs of heatstroke and contact your vet if you have any concerns.

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