Here in the UK, we are currently going through a heatwave of around 32* + weather.
I still consider myself a new dog owner and I wouldn’t have really known about dogs and summer weather being a potential issue until I witnessed with my own eyes what the hot weather can do to a dog.
Whilst we were out on a casual walk a few weeks ago, the weather was probably no hotter than 24* but it was still pretty warm. The dogs were playing in the open fields where one of them suddenly stopped moving and decided to stay still. The owner picked up their dog and found that their dog was shivering uncontrollably and drooling.
Immediately we took her into the shade whilst they arranged an emergency vet appointment.
At first we didn’t know what was going on as the other dogs seemed fine and were still playing.
We speculated that it might have been an upset stomach etc.
But the following day I stumbled across a graphic being shared around in the doggy forums where they discuss the symptoms of heatstroke.
After seeing this, it was clear to me that the dog was showing signs of heatstroke and as a relatively new dog owner, I would not have really been aware of this being such an issue with summer weather at 24*.
Now that this week is averaging 30-32*+ I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss a few best practices.
Tip 1 – Walk your dog early morning and late night
Before the sun can fully rise or is about to start setting is when the temperatures are lower. In the middle of the night is clearly going to be much cooler, but realistically you won’t walk your dog at this time.
It may be a little inconvenient but ideally you should try walk your dog outside of peak heat hours. So your daily routine may have to change throughout summer.
Tip 2 – Restrict exercise
We all want to exercise our dogs to maintain their weight, keep them active and happy, but in this type of heat, letting them generate more internal heat within their bodies is potentially dangerous given the fact that the outside temperatures are soaring.
Keep their exercise in shaded areas and to a minimum
Tip 3 – Carry Water
Like us humans, in the heat, we get thirsty. So it’s essential you carry around something where you can give your dog water on-the-go!
Whether this be a collapsible bowl which you simply fill with bottled water, or a doggy specific bottle with a bowl on the end for them to drink out of.
We opted for a bottle we found on Amazon.co.uk
We first noticed it as other dog owners during our walks were using it and were impressed by the convenience it offers. I will write up a review on this product soon, but in short, it is convenient, clean, tidy and simply works!
Tip 4 – Do Not Walk on Pavement for Long Periods
In the summer the concrete ground can get hot and our short legged Dachshunds unfortunately don’t have much clearance with their chest and belly’s from the ground. Therefore the heat can reflect off the ground and back up to the bodies.
Keep their exercise on grass where possible or remember to stay in shaded areas on concrete.
There are more in-depth articles out there, however I just wanted to do a quick post to ensure the message is spread and that people are more aware of the dangers this heatwave can provide to our short legged friends.