Dog care in summer
Here are some steps you can take to ensure your dog stays cool during the summer months.
- Never leave dogs in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day (even if only for a short while). When it's 22°C outside, temperatures can quickly rise to 47°C (117°F) in these environments, which can be fatal.
- Use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet's skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. This is especially important if your dog has white or light-coloured fur, as they can be very vulnerable to getting burnt. If you're unsure which is the right product to use, please ask your vet.
- Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool.
- Check every day for flystrike - this can be fatal.
- Put ice cubes into your dog's water bowl or make some tasty ice cube treats. You could also freeze a kong with treats and water!
- Give your pet damp towels to lie on (never place a damp towel over your dog as this can trap in heat) or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Both simple methods could provide welcome relief from the heat
- If you're planning a day out with your dog, check before leaving home whether dogs are allowed. If they're not, arrange a pet-sitter or choose another, dog-friendly attraction.
- Groom them regularly - regular grooming in warmer weather can help brush away any dead or excess hair, leaving your dog with a less dense coat - much better for staying cool!
- Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in, although not all dogs like water, so there's no need to force them if they don't want to!
Take a look at one of the dogs in our care enjoying a dip in the water...
Walking your dog in hot weather
Dogs need exercise, even when it's hot. We recommend walking your dog in the morning or evening when it's cooler to reduce the risk of heatstroke and burning their paws on the pavement.
Do you know the signs of heatstroke and what to do if you spot them?
Signs of burned pads
Try the 5-second test - if it's too hot for your hands, it's too hot for paws!
You can also look out for:
- Limping or refusing to walk
- Licking or chewing at the feet
- Pads darker in colour
- Missing part of pad
- Blisters or redness
Signs of heatstroke
- Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
- Excessively drooling
- The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
- Collapsed or vomiting
If you suspect your dog has the signs of heat stroke you must act quickly.
We've worked with The Outdoor Guide to give you tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy in the hot weather.
We've also teamed up to offer our favourite dog-friendly walks throughout the summer.
Find out more about caring for dogs.