We’ve all heard that dogs die in hot cars, but that’s not the only thing you need to remember when looking after your pooch in the hot summer months.

Britain may not exactly be the south of France, and the summers are inconsistent to say the least. But that doesn’t mean the mercury won’t rise up high in the coming months, so it’s important to know what will help your pooch endure the warm weather.

Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat stress in the summer months and, even worse, they could suffer from heat stroke. The hot weather raises their temperature and they can’t cool down through sweating, like humans.

To combat this, it is good to keep your mutt at a comfortable temperature, which means giving it plenty of shade and cool, fresh water. If you do have to take him or her out into the open sun, try to allow the dog to gradually and naturally adjust to the heat. This means long walks should be at the coolest part of the day, with a few minutes spent outside during the warmest times of the day. Unless you live on the equator, a short time in the sun should be fine for your pooch.

If you’re taking your dog on a long journey, then try your best to avoid travelling at the warmest part of the day and remember to bring a wet towel with you, as this is a very effective technique at cooling your furry friend down.

It may be an obvious one, but it is vital to remember that you should never, ever leave a dog in a car, as this can quite easily be fatal. The inside of car quickly turns into an oven in hot weather, reaching temperatures of 43C after only 25 minutes when it is 26C outside. If it’s too hot, leave your mutt at home.

Dogs do need exercise, but when the days are hot and the nights are humid, you should not take your canine out for a run around as much. When you do, aim for the late evening or before sunrise. It may not be convenient for you, but if you want to maintain your dog’s healthy lifestyle, it is necessary to take these steps. Any owner that has a dog with a particularly heavy coat should take extra care.

You may not think it with all that fur, but a dog can get sunburned. We all know how painful this can be, so you definitely won’t want your pooch suffering from it. Areas that are exposed, such as the ears and nose are particularly vulnerable to sunburn. However, after having a coat trim, the rest of the body is also susceptible.

Enjoy your dog in the sun this summer, but don’t put his or her health and wellbeing at risk. Be sensible and know that the heat can have much graver impacts on your four-legged friend than it can on you.

Written by: Hannah