From serving up delicious frozen treats to creating a ‘cooling cave’ - animal welfare experts have shared their tried and tested ways to help your dog stay comfortable this summer.
With temperatures already soaring this month, similar to last year’s heatwave, dog experts are reminding us to take steps to make sure our pets are kept as comfortable as possible in the rising temperatures.
All breeds and types of dog are at risk but those with underlying health conditions, especially ones affecting their breathing, and older or elderly dogs can overheat more easily, as well as overweight dogs, dogs with thick or double coats, and some large and flat-faced breeds.
A survey by the British Veterinary Association after 2022’s record-breaking summer found that while around 1 in 10 (9%) vets in small animal practice had seen at least one dog affected by the heat after being left in a hot car, four times as many vets (38%) had seen at least one dog affected by the heat after being walked or exercised in hot weather.
Top tips for dog owners in hot weather
1. Have a go at making some frozen dog treats to keep your pooch cool.
2. Consider swapping a walk for staying inside and playing an engaging brain-game instead.
3. Freeze a Kong toy with kibble and peanut butter to keep your dog occupied.
4. Create a ‘cooling cave’ - choose a suitable room in your home for your dog to retreat to.
5. Draw the curtains or blind to keep the sunshine and heat out.
6. Open a window to encourage some airflow into the darkened room.
7. Place several different bowls of water around the space to intrigue your dog and encourage them to drink often.
8. Consider buying a cooling mat or using a cold damp towel for your dog to lie on.
9. For dogs with white coats, consider popping some pet-safe sunscreen onto their ears if you're going for a walk or into the garden.
10. Wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a tea towel, or use damp towels for your pets bed.
11. Use cold treats from the fridge for added moisture or make an ice lolly for your dog from pet-friendly ingredients.
12. Freeze your dog’s water bowl or add ice cubes to their bowl.
13. Fill a paddling pool or spray a hose for your dog to play - but always supervise them around water, and try to avoid them getting too excited and overheating.