How to keep your dog cool this summer Summer is here, (although it may not feel it sometimes) and with that brings the warm and muggy weather. As part of being a responsible pet owner, keeping your dog cool and safe during the summer months is very important. Below are some ideas and suggestions to keep your dog cool and safe in summer. Never leave your dog in a hot car. Never leave your dog in a hot or even warm car is one of the most important piece of advice a dog owner can ever receive during the spring/summer months. Even if the day is mild, the temperature inside a car can increase rapidly, making it unbearable for dogs that are trapped inside. If the outside temperature outside is 22 degrees, inside the car temperatures can reach 47 degrees within the hour. Even with parking in the shade and leaving the windows slightly open will not do enough to reduce the danger. If you are running errands, it’s best to keep your dog at home, ensuring they have plenty of access to water and somewhere cool to retreat to. If you do happen to come across a dog trapped in a car, call the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty helpline on 0300 123 4999 or call the police who will be able to advise what to do. Heatstroke in dogs Dogs can only get rid of heat by panting or sweating through their paws which makes them prone to heatstroke. Any hot environment can cause heatstroke, along with over exercising. If you see your dog with excessive panting and signs of discomfort, this indicates overheating, which if not acted upon can lead to heatstroke. Read more about Heatstroke in our blog article. Does your dog have access to plenty of water? Offer clean cool water at all times. To encourage your dog to drink more, you could always add some chicken broth or pieces of their favourite fruit. If you can, also add ice cubes which will keep the water cooler for longer. Exercising your dog Limit how much exercise your dog does when it’s hot and humid. It’s best to walk your dogs during early morning and late evening when the sun is not at its highest. Remember to take water with you on your walks. If your dog is energetic, limit play time to short sessions, so that you don’t exhaust both of you! Before even stepping out for your walk, put your hand on the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog. If possible walk in grassy areas, as this will be nicer for your dog to walk on. Just ask yourself – would you like to walk around barefoot? Check for fleas & ticks Fleas, ticks and critters that love to bite your dog, thrive in the summer months. A one off application of flea treatment won’t be enough, so discuss with your vet an effective summer treatment plan to keep them at bay. If going for walks in grassy and wooded areas, check your dog over for any ticks that may have latched on for a ride, and remove. You can get special tools that specifically remove ticks. Fur, glorious fur! If your dog has long hair, groom them regularly to rid of any mats and tangles. Grooming regularly will also help rid of loose trapped hair. Don’t be tempted to shave or clip their coats, as they still need protection from the sun! Handy tips for summer Don’t walk your dog on the pavements on hot days Fill up a paddling pool for your dog to lay in on the really hot days Offer an ice-pack or wet cool towel for your dog to lay on Make you dog some homemade frozen treats Buy pet sunscreen and put on their nose and ears to prevent sunburn If your dog is at home all day, have a cool room they can retreat to We hope this article has helped you to keep your dog cool and safe in summer.