It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again, but it looks like the temperatures are set to rise this weekend (let’s hope it’s here to stay). I know that we can’t always rely on a hot British summer, but on the days that are above average temperature, we need to be aware that our furry friends need a little extra TLC.

You might be surprised to hear that dogs can also suffer from heatstroke, which can have worse symptoms and more fatalities than the human kind. But unlike us, dogs aren’t able to sweat through their skin, so they release heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep themselves cool. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, you need to look out for these signs, excessive panting, dribbling, a bright red tongue, increased heart rate and in more serious cases collapse. If the above signs are present in your dog, immediately move them to a cool, shaded area (preferably with a breeze), spray them with cool but not freezing water and call your vet.

Here are a few tips for keeping your dog cool and hopefully preventing heatstroke during the warmer months of the year.

Ice cubes

Last summer we found that the best way to keep our dog hydrated also turned into a fun game that kept him entertained for ages. We froze several different treats in normal ice cube trays and popped them in his water several times a day. Not only did he enjoy eating the ice and eventually the treat, he also drank lots of water while chasing the ice cube around his bowl. Please be aware that aggressive chewers could break teeth.

Paddling pool

We found a small children’s paddling pool in our local Poundland and set this up in the garden. It wasn’t an Olympic sized pool and he couldn’t swim in it, but it was big enough for him to sit in. We also put some of his plastic toys in and he had great fun splashing around trying to get them out.

Carry water on your walks

You can buy dog water bottles with integrated bowls to carry in your bag whilst having a walk, this way you are able to take regular stops to make sure your dog keeps cool and regulates his body temperature.

A constant supply of water

Make sure that you have a bowl of water available for your pet at all times. Having a bowl in the house and in a shaded area outside means that even lazy dogs have access to a refreshing drink whenever they need it.

Shade in the garden

At certain times during in summer, our garden doesn’t have any areas that are shaded, so if our dog has to go out at these times, we make sure that our patio umbrella is up so he can go under if he wants to.

Ticks

On a side note, please remember to keep an eye on your dog and check for ticks after a walk in woodland, grassland areas and heaths. It’s during the hotter months of the year that these disease carrying creatures make an appearance, and not only will they attach themselves to your dog, but they are also fond of humans too. It’s advisable to carry a tick remover like out Tick-Off.me with you at all times. Our tick remover can easily fit in a purse or wallet and it comes in 3 different sizes to remove even the biggest ticks.

If you have any top tips for keeping your dogs cool and hydrated during summer, we'd love to hear them. Please email us at [email protected]