Keeping Cool: A Warm-Weather Guide for Dogs
Dogs are generally very adaptable to warmer climates as long as they have sufficient shade and drinking water. There are, however, certain breeds that find it more difficult to regulate their temperature, so they need to be monitored a little more closely. Here are some useful tips for keeping your hot dog cool this summer:
- Place ice packs or cold wet towels on the ground for your dog to lie on
- Put ice cubes in the water bowl to keep the drinking water cool
- Allow your pup to swim or doggie paddle in the pool (we have a great foldable and durable doggy pool you can buy)
- Ensure there is sufficient shade, particularly in the garden or on balconies: use tarp or shade cloth and section off a well-sized area to keep them comfortable and cool.
- Use a collapsible water bottle and tray when out on walks (we have them available in our webstore)
- Avoid walking on hot surfaces like pavements and tarred roads which can scold your dog’s feet; if it is too hot to touch then it is too hot to walk
- Try to get the daily exercise done in the early mornings or evenings when the temperature is much cooler
- Make some homemade frozen dog treats using fruit, yoghurt and even peanut butter. All you need are some silicon moulds and you can source some delicious easy-to-make recipes online
Breeds to Keep an Eye On
Breeds like Greyhounds and Whippets are well suited to warmer climates owing to their long noses and large lungs which help to keep them cool. Short-nosed dogs like Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston terriers struggle more to regulate their temperature because of their short nasal passages.
Other dogs which need to be kept cool are the very large breeds as well as elderly, overweight, and diabetic dogs.
Is Shaving a Good Idea?
Well, this depends on the breed of your dog. If your dog has a double coat like mastiffs, huskies, Labradors, or Pomeranians then shaving them can lead to a variety of issues. Simply put, the undercoat regulates temperature whereas the topcoat repels dirt and moisture. So shaving these breeds can result in a lack of insulation and sun protection. It is also important to note that their coats can also take a very long time to grow back properly.
Dehydration & Heatstroke
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. However, here are some important signs to look out for that may indicate your dog is suffering from dehydration or sunstroke (please make sure you take your dog to the vet if you suspect they may be suffering from either condition).
- Increased temperature (38.5°C is normal)
- Quick uncontrolled breathing and panting
- Thick or excessive saliva
- Unusual fatigue
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty standing or walking
Avoid cooling your dog too quickly as this can lead to shock, and also make sure they have access to cool drinking water.
This can be more difficult to identify as the symptoms can initially be more subtle; look out for:
- Sunken or hollow eyes
- Lack of energy
- Dry mouth
A useful test for dehydration is to gently pinch a fold of skin at the top of their neck: if it is slow to return to its normal position this could indicate that your dog is dehydrated. If your dog doesn’t want to drink water, try a different bowl or also try adding some carrot juice or bone broth to entice drinking.
PETWORLD has a variety of lifestyle products to keep your pets cool for the summer so visit our website today. Orders of R650 qualify for free shipping!