Overheating in the summer months is not pleasant for anyone, and even more so for our pets who don’t always know how to communicate their needs to us and are (often) covered in a hairy coat. So, we need to be aware and prepared.

Being outdoors when the weather is hot is a great time to unwind and relax for the whole family. We can cool down by wearing shorts and hats or sitting under an umbrella but it isn’t as easy for our pups. However, you can do a few things to ensure your furry family member doesn’t overheat.

Heatstroke is serious and can be fatal in dogs which is why prevention is always better than cure.

Signs Your Pup is Too Hot

You may think your pet is fine and their usual self if you see them sitting and panting under a tree, but heavy panting is a quick indicator that your dog is trying to rapidly cool themselves down and you should get them cool water straight away. Excessive drooling and confusion are other signs to take note of along with them being lethargic and showing signs of weakness. If you are at all unsure, a call or trip to the vet could prevent the situation from becoming serious or worse, fatal.

Keeping Them Cool

If you know the day is going to be a scorcher, find other ways for them to use up their energy and not exert themselves. Some great ideas are often the simplest and pets love being part of the activities. Here are some top options to try out this coming warm weather season:

  • Searching – Dogs love to run and find things. Try hiding their toys in a small, shaded if possible, area for them to sniff out and watch as they hunt for their favorite fluffy toy. You could even surprise them with a new one, check out some cute dog toys to treat your deserving fur ball, and show them how much you care.
  • Freeze – A popular choice is to freeze their food for them to lick at, enjoy, and cool down all at the same time. You could even put a few frozen treats into a chew toy to keep them entertained and it’s a great way to ensure they’re not running around the garden.
  • Pool – Throw a few squeaky toys into a paddling pool to encourage them to get into the water, or get the kids to call them in to sit with them and stay cool. As long as they are calm they can maintain a good temperature.
  • Cooling mat – If they have had enough time in the water, let them lay on a cooling mat in the shade. Run some cool, not cold, water over their paws and ears to keep them relaxed and calm but most importantly, cool.
  • Sunscreen – Some natural, organic dog sunscreens can be applied before tackling the day which is good for dogs with short fur. It’s also a good idea to keep them groomed to allow air to circulate.

Preparation Is Key

Checking your local weather forecast will mean you’re prepared for the day ahead and everything will go a lot smoother.

Change up your walking routine to take a stroll during the cooler times of the day. Wake up earlier while the air is still crisp or wait till the sun is setting and the heat has subsided before allowing your dog to run in the park.

Always keep windows open in the car when traveling to your destination and have damp towels on hand, or water to wet them, for your dog to sit on. It’s advised to have double the recommended amount of water packed to be sure they stay hydrated which can quickly turn south if not catered for.

Other simple actions which are often forgotten are to limit the amount of exercise your dog does and to stick to shady areas as much as possible. It may sound simple but your dog will thank you for it.

Summer Safety

Spending time together with pets makes memories that will last for a lifetime. They are as much a part of the family as anyone so keeping them safe and cool in summer is a must. Water activities like a trip to the beach, outside of the peak heat hours during the day, are great for exercise and cooling down. They’re also budget-friendly!

Keep your pup in the shade, hydrated at all times, and make the most of your summer with your furry family member.