How to care for your dog in the summer heat

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Top tips on how to care for your dog during the warmest time of year...

When it’s very hot outside, dogs can be particularly susceptible to overheating. Sean Whiting, Director of Houghton Country, who sell quality dog care products and accessories, gave us his best advice on caring for your canine in the summer heat.

The summer’s almost here! But while we’re enjoying our ice creams and days in the sun, our precious dogs need caring for too. In this article, I’ll be telling you how you can look after your dog to keep them safe and happy in the warmer months.

Keep your dog cool

It’s very important that you take steps to keep your dog cool in the summer. Encourage them to sit in the shade and entice them with treats if you need to. Placing a paddling pool in shaded areas and turning on garden sprinklers are great ways to keep your dog cool and encourage methods of playing that won’t make them overheat.

Remember that in the summer, the ground can get extremely hot, especially tarmac when it’s in the sun. So, when walking your dog, try to avoid taking them in the middle of the day. Instead, walk them in the early morning or the evening when it’s cooler. You can also freeze treats and small amounts of food and put down damp towels for your dog to lay on.

I must insist that you never leave your dog in hot cars or other enclosed spaces that can overheat. If you do see a dog in a hot parked car, call 999 immediately.

Keep your dog hydrated

Make sure that you keep your dog hydrated. Top up their water bowl regularly with fresh cold water. If you’re out on a walk, you can pack a portable water bowl for your dog to drink from, which can be folded up and carried in your pocket or bag.

Groom your dog regularly

A dog’s fur means that it always has an extra layer of warmth, especially breeds with long coats. Take your dog to get its hair cut at the beginning of the season and groom them regularly to get rid of excess fur and knots which can trap heat in the coat.

Apply sun cream

If your dog has shorter fur, your groomer might advise against cutting it. If this is the case, specialty dog sun creams can be bought at most pet shops. White dogs with short hair, such as Bull Terriers, Dalmatians, Pit Bulls, Boxers, Greyhounds and French Bulldogs, are particularly susceptible to burning.

Sun cream sprays, sticks and wipes can be applied all over your dog’s body, but pay particular attention to sensitive areas like the nose and ears. Don’t use sun cream made for humans as this usually contains zinc oxide which can be poisonous to dogs if they ingest it.

It’s important that you keep your dog cool in the warmer months, but by following my advice, your canine will be safe and happy all throughout the summer.