t's hotting up, and we are loving the summer sun, but how do you keep your canine cool in hot weather?
Keeping your dog cool inside
You might be lucky enough to have air conditioning blasting cold air into your home, but if you're melting in the hot temperatures, here are some top tips to keep your dog cool inside your house.
Plenty of cold water to drink
It seems obvious, but make sure your dog has easy access to cold drinking water. Don't forget to top his water bowl up throughout the day.
Your dog is more likely to drink water if it's cold, so keep his bowl on a cool surface, like a tiled floor. You could add ice cubes or invest in a freezable bowl.
Get the air moving
Open windows and grab a fan. Dogs stay cool by panting. Moisture evaporates from their tongue and pads, cooling them and lowering their body temperature.
If the humidity is high, evaporation decreases, but moving the air around can help your dog stay cool.
A cool place to rest
A cold tiled floor is ideal for your hot dog to relax as the cool tiles will help them regulate their body temperature.
If you don't have a tiled floor, lay out a wet towel, or grab a special dog cooling mat from your local pet shop. These are particularly useful if your dog struggles with that mobility as lying on hard floors can be uncomfortable. A cooling mat on their bed is a comfy solution.
Shower off and have a trim
A cool shower will work wonders for your dog when it's really hotting up. Just make sure to avoid their head, and if you shower them regularly, don't use too much shampoo as it can cause skin irritation.
Keep your dog well groomed too. If your furry friend is, well, furry, head to the groomers for a trim. Even dogs that you wouldn't usually clip might appreciate a summer haircut.
Keeping your dog cool outside
Find some shade in the summer heat
Put your dog's bed in a shady spot in your garden. Under the trees with a gentle breeze is perfect.
No shady trees? Grab a bedsheet and stretch it between two chairs as a makeshift shelter from the blazing sun.
Grab the hose
It's a bit of a love/hate thing with dogs. Some dogs love to play with the hose, while others dread the thought. If your dog is a lover, play with the hose and get them cooled off.
Other dogs might enjoy a dip in the pool. A proper swimming pool if you're lucky enough to have one (but rinse the chlorine off them). If not, a kiddie pool will do the trick!
Extra water bowls
Don't forget cool drinking water out here too. Keep their bowl in the shade, and make sure you keep it full with plenty of water throughout the day.
Keeping your dog cool on a walk
Plan your walk times
Dogs overheat quickly when exercising. Any air temperatures above 23°C can pose a risk to their health, so plan your walk times carefully. Take advantage of cooler temperatures in the early morning or late evenings and head out for a gentle stroll.
Check the pavement temperature before you go
Remember the rule of 7.
If you can't hold your hand flat on the pavement for 7 seconds, it's too hot for your pooch's paws.
When the air temperature is 28°C, the pavement can be over 50°C, which is hot enough to fry an egg! Don't fry your dog's feet on the hot surface of the road.
Think about your route
If you can avoid pavements, stick to grassy paths (but not artificial grass, as that gets hot). Head for the forest, or take a shady dog walk route. If you have to use the pavements, cross to the shady side of the road to keep your dog cool.
Go for a swim
Take your dog for a cool-off in your local lake or a splash about in a stream.
If your dog has joint health or mobility problems, take care on slippery surfaces. Read some summer safety tips from veterinary rehab specialist Dr Leilani Alvarez here.
If you are going for a swim with your dog, keep them on a lead afterwards, or keep their exercise short. They might feel refreshed after a dip in the cool water, but this can lead to them overexerting themselves.
Take drinking water
On hot summer days, never leave for a walk without water, for you and your dog. You can buy portable water bowls or special water bottles for dogs, but pouring water into your hand for them to lap up can work just as well.
Enjoy the sun with your pooch this summer.