Tips for looking after your pet in the heat

With the current heatwave and many of us experiencing higher than usual temperatures, it’s important to think about how this affects our pets too to make sure they stay comfortable and healthy in the heat.

Despite its appearance, dogs’ fur does in fact help to keep them cool due to its insulating properties. Too often, owners are unaware of this get their dog’s coat trimmed for summer, so avoid this and leave them au naturale! Did you know, just like us, dogs can catch the sun too? So avoid your furry friend being exposed to strong sun for long periods to help prevent sunburn or irritation. Some dogs are more susceptible than others, such as those with white and lighter coloured fur, and it’s worth thinking about investing in sun lotions specially formulated for pets (which you can buy from most good pet shops).

Sunny days give lots of us an excuse to take extra trips to make the most of the nice weather, and we all know it’s not a proper family outing without bringing your four-legged members along too! This can mean long car journeys with your dog, which can be an ordeal in normal conditions and only made worse by the heat.

Make sure you have plenty of water for your dog during the journey and stop regularly for them to re-hydrate, have a quick run around and get some fresh air. We hear countless warnings about leaving your dog in a parked car, and this is especially true in high temperatures as, even with the window cracked, cars rapidly overheat which can cause sunstroke and dehydration.

We all like to enjoy more time in the garden and outdoors when the weather is fine, and this is the same for your pet too. Make sure that there are some cool spots in the shade around the garden for them to seek out on sunny days; that way they can enjoy being outside without you worrying about them catching the sun or overheating. If the days seem to be staying warmer longer, then think about choosing cooler times to take your dog out for a walk, such as mornings or early evenings, especially if you’re doing any activities or playtime with them. Dogs can lack energy in the heat so if they do seem to be getting tired at all or overheating, then take a break and give them some water.

During the hotter months, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of taking a bottle of water along with you on any outings together, maintaining your dog’s hydration allows it to pant efficiently and therefore keep cool. Dehydration is one of the main concerns for dog owners in hot weather, so be sure to take steps to make it easily preventable. Providing them with a plentiful supply of water that they can access at all times will help keep your dog healthy and hydrated, meaning you can both relax and enjoy the nice weather safely!

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