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Helping your dog through the heatwave

- Posted by in Pet Care
Helping your dog through the heatwave

Coping in a heatwave can be a struggle for us, let alone our dogs. With their thick coats and inability to sweat anywhere but through their paws, it’s not surprising that the heat makes them vulnerable.

By now, most of us understand the dangers of leaving dogs unattended in cars because of how quickly they heat up, but there are other less obvious risk factors that need to be considered in hot weather.

Here are our suggestions for a safe summer with your dog:

  • Dogs love to be outside, but sometimes their access to the great outdoors should be restricted, such as when it is particularly hot and sunny. Finding a shady spot in the garden or park isn’t always enough to keep their temperature down, so try to keep your dog inside during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Likewise, limit time spent exercising, particularly as pavements can become scorchingly hot very quickly and burn your dog’s delicate paw pads. Try resting the back of your hand on the pavement and see if you can hold it there for five seconds – if not, the path is too hot for your dog to walk on.
  • Protect pink areas with a sun cream specially developed for dogs. Noses and ears are areas susceptible to sunburn, so keep them protected as best you can.
  • Ensure water is always available to your dog, as dehydration can quickly lead to heatstroke and other life-threatening conditions. If you have a paddling pool you can leave out for your dog to splash about in, even better! Make sure this is always supervised though and if you're not going to be around for some of the day, consider setting up a sprinkler instead.
  • Keep on top of grooming, as excess hair will only act to insulate your dog further. If your dog is long-haired, having them clipped will help hugely.
  • Make some cooling freeze pops you can have ready for when your dog is really struggling in the heat. You can buy these ready made or make your own - there are plenty of delicious recipes online.
  • Finally, refrain from leaving your dog in any confined spaces, including greenhouses, caravans and cars. These all become like ovens in the heat and very uncomfortable and dangerous places for a dog to be.
  • You can find a wide range of hot weather care products on our website, including cooling pads and coats, cooling toys, travel water bottles and other essential items on our 'Summer Essentials' page.

If you have any hot weather care tips of your own, please share them with our other readers by commenting below.

Written by: Hannah Dyball


25th Jun 2018
Customer Since: September 2015
From: Berkshire, United Kingdom

I have two very full double coated shelties. I dampen old tea towels with cold water and lay them out on the floor in my kitchen. When they walk over them, it instantly cools their foot pads, and they lie on them. Try it yourself, walk over a damp tea towel with bare feet and you can feel your feet cool down!!
I also invested in a water evaporating cooler fan, they love it as it blows out cool air and they lie in the breeze it creates. Best thing I ever purchased. Crushed ice is another favourite of theirs, by the spoonful throughout the day and in their water Bowl. A rub down with a cool damp tea towel on their tummys cools them down too.

25th Jun 2018
Customer Since: September 2015
From: Berkshire, United Kingdom

I purchased some bamboo blinds for my kitchen where my dogs spend the majority of the day, to avoid the kitchen from becoming too hot during full sun. It works well, in that the light is dappled, and it stays cool and really prevents the room from getting warm.

25th Jun 2018
Customer Since: March 2018
From: Sir Ceredigion, United Kingdom

Ice cubes in the water bowl are good they keep the water cool for a while and great fun to bob around and then watch.!

25th Jun 2018
Customer Since: April 2017
From: West Midlands, United Kingdom

VioPet are superb at providing sound advice for our pets, whether that be as in the latest newsletter about making sure our pets are okay in the hot weather or coping with bonfire night etc. I feel that everyone needs to read these articles and I for one are extremely grateful to the pet care team.

26th Jun 2018
Customer Since: September 2016
From: Westmidlands, United Kingdom

thank you for always supplying useful information

26th Jun 2018
Customer Since: April 2018
From: Berkshire, United Kingdom

As a first time dog owner, this information is brilliant. I have just had my cocker spaniel groomed all that fur has gone so will help in this heat

26th Jun 2018
Customer Since: June 2018
From: Suffolk, United Kingdom

Putting a wet tea towel (or light towel) on the back of a short coated dog, eg, greyhound, will help keep it cool, especialy if it is frequently renewed.

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