Now the temperatures are slowly starting to creep up our thoughts will start turning to summer. As a country that rarely experiences hot weather we take full advantage of the days when we do – on go the shorts and shades and out come the ice creams. Eventually, however, we will more than likely begin to complain that it is just too hot as we fan ourselves and down ice cold drinks.
But during these periods, spare a thought for our furry friends – our pets who can’t take off their fur coat at the end of winter and put it to the back of the wardrobe in replacement of something a little more lightweight.
Dogs lose their lives every summer due to the heat and so it is imperative, whether you have a Cockapoo or a Great Dane, that you pay them extra attention during the hotter months to ensure they don’t suffer.
Always keep water near
It is important, both inside and outside of the home, that your dog has unrestricted access to fresh, cool water. Dogs will drink much more in the heat and rely on us to provide that water for them. In the house, keep their water bowl topped up and outside of it, make sure you are walking them near lakes and rivers so they can dive in and cool down.
Do NOT shut them in the car
During the winter you might leave your dog in the car for five minutes while you run into the shop for a couple of essentials but during the summer months this is five minutes too long. Rolling down the windows and parking in the shade will not suffice – this is still incredibly dangerous. Cars can become as hot as ovens even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside – did you know when it is 22 degrees it can reach 47 degrees in the car within an hour? Try it for yourself – less than a minute in and you will see why not long is too long.
Keep to the shade and avoid hot pavements
You should always check the pavement before you walk your pet on it – if it is painful for you to press your palm to the surface for 30 seconds, then it can burn their paws. Ideally aim to walk on pavement early in the morning or in the evening, when the surface will be at its coolest. Similarly, when you are out walking, stick to the shade as much as possible.
Feed them ice cubes instead of ice cream
Ice cubes make a great snack for dogs during the summer months because while keeping them cool they will also keep them topped up with much needed water. You may be tempted to share your ice cream with them when they are panting in front of you, but this isn’t a good idea – most are lactose intolerant and so won’t thank you for it in the long run.
Ensure they are able to keep cool when left at home
Don’t leave pets at home without the means to keep cool – access to a tiled floor or a shaded room will enable them to find some comfort from the heat. You could also pop some ice cubes in their water and make sure that there isn’t any way they won’t be able to get to this. If you leave a small window open, for example, you must ensure the door between them and their water bowl is propped open so it can’t blow shut in the wind.
If you do feel concern for a dog or any other animal during the hotter weather, particularly those locked in hot cars, it is advised that you call the police immediately.