Month: June 2017

8 ways to keep your dog cool this summer

In the UK we are just as likely to see rain showers as we are sunshine, but even a warm day to us can be a hot day for our dogs. With the hopes of a long lazy summer of sunshine, I thought it wise to share a selection of ways to keep our beloved dogs cool this summer.

1 - Water

As obvious as it seems fresh, cool water is absolutely essential for our dogs during the hot weather. Stainless steel bowls are preferable over plastic bowls as they are easier to clean and won’t leach nasty chemicals into the water. Make sure it’s kept in the shade, easily accessible and changed daily.

Chihuahua drinking from water bowl

2 - Walking

With blazing sun comes scorching pavements and roads. One trick to tell if the surface is too hot for your dog to walk on is to lay the back of your hand on the pavement/road, if you can’t keep your hand on it then it’s certainly too hot for your dog to walk on (I’ve also tried standing on the pavement/road in bare feet – no one wants to see my bum in the air as I try and stick the back of my hand on the floor!).

For me walking my dog is a pleasure, but during the summer our walks are restricted to early in the morning and late in the evening when the day is at its coolest. I find that’s usually before 9am on really hot days and after 7pm in the evening.

Whippet looking through crops to the sunset

3 - Cooling vest

There are many brands of cooling vest and cool coat on the market, all with the aim of cooling your dog’s chest and vital organs. They are worn wet and work via evaporation, so never let your dog walk around in a dry one as it’ll just make them hotter. If you don’t have one, and you find your dog is struggling a little with the heat, a wet towel will do a similar job. Just soak a towel or pillow case, ring it out slightly and drape it over your dog and make sure they stay in the shade.
Commercial cooling vests can be found at DforDog.co.uk who can make bespoke sizes for a perfect fit, or Vetsend.co.uk, although there are many other varieties available.

4 - Cooling Mat

Often blue, these self-cooling mats can help dogs cool down when they lay on them. It can help them sleep on a hot, sticky night and can be used in the car on long journeys.
Mats can be found at Amazon.co.uk and Health and Care, amongst other places.

5 - Paddling Pool

Other than panting, dogs cool down by sweating from their paws so a dip in a cool paddling pool can help keep their temperature down. If you have a water baby then a full on lay down and soak is a great way to cool off – just remember to shut the back door or else you could have a soggy sofa 😉

For a sturdy paddling pool Chad Valley do a children's sand and water pit that easily translates to a rigid dog paddling pool. This can be found at Argos - the bonus is that you can use one side and have the one as a spare!

6 - Frozen Treats

There are many recipes out there for frozen treats for your dog, like the one below from Lily’s Kitchen. Another trick is to mash up a banana with some peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain Xylitol which is deadly for dogs!) and a splash of water so it forms a paste. Stuff a Kong with the paste and freeze it. It’s great to keep you dog cool and it will keep them busy at the same time.

Lily's kitchen frozen banana treat recipe idea

7 - Sprinkler

Maybe it’s just me reminiscing back to childhood days in the garden, but there’s nothing quite as fun as running through a sprinkler! If your dog is a water baby then a short while playing with a sprinkler can use up some energy and keep cool at the same time - until it’s cool enough to go for that evening stroll.

Sprinkler in garden

8 - Grooming

Keeping on top of grooming can help your pet immensely. If you have a breed that goes to the groomers for a short back and sides 😉 then a quick visit before a heat wave hits can help them keep cool. Grooming is especially important if you have a double coated dog, ie a dog that has an undercoat as well as a topcoat. Keeping up a good grooming routine and making sure any loose undercoat is removed will help air circulate to your dog's skin. Never shave your double coated dog - with their coat removed they are prone to sunburn and have even more problems with heat (plus their coat will not grow back the same).

Little white dog on grooming table being clipped

I hope the summer is kind and we have many days in which to enjoy the warmth with our furry kids. I’d love to hear of any methods you use to keep your dog cool and entertained.

Posted by 4 Legs Photography in Uncategorised