Picnicking in the park, bathing on the beach, warm walks in the woods – oh summer how we love thee. While all of the above offers enjoyment for our furry best friend, the summer months can also be a perilous time for a pooch. Sauna-like car journeys, blistering sun, humidity, ticks, wasp stings, dehydration … need we say more?
With more hot weather expected this summer, we share ten tips and buys to help make your dog’s summer a barking breeze at home and away …
Get insured – with a wealth of hound hazards throughout the summer and the on-going worry of your dog simply getting sick, pet insurance is a must for dog owners, all year round! Not yet two, we’ve already had our fair share of visits to the vet with B-Boy and without pet insurance I honestly don’t know how I would have paid for it all. For peace of mind this summer and a good deal, give Argos Pet Insurance a whirl.
Beware of cars & conservatories – both can easily become death traps for dogs, and at rapid pace. In cars alone, it can take less than 20 minutes to cause a dog’s body temperature to exceed 41°C, after which time they will loose muscle control, the kidneys will cease to function, the brain will become irreversibly damaged and the heart will stop. Parking in the shade and/or keeping the windows down does not make it safe so in short don’t do it and if you need any more convincing watch the Dogs Trust hard-hitting #hotcarskilldogs video.
Also ensure that your dog is kept as cool as possible when driving: avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds on the windows and consider opening a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle.
Water your dog regularly – ensure that your dog has fresh water within paws reach at all times, as dogs are not able to cool down as effectively as humans so can suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly. A couple of buys to consider - for walks we love the no fuss Pet Water Bottle from the StyleTails store (£23) that allows your dog to drink directly from the bottle; for trips away and easy storage, try Poppy & Rufus’ Dixie Travel Water Bowl (£15).
Invest in a cooling jacket – an especially great buy for dogs of the squishy face variety, cooling jackets work by cooling your dog’s heart and lungs, which in turn cools the bloody temperature around the body. Check out the Hurrta Cooling Vest at Active Hound, which is activated by soaking in cool water. Prices start at £24.99 and it comes in a variety of sizes.
Shade from the sun – whether it’s for use in the car as above, on the beach or in the park, offer your dog some shade from the rays. Head to Halfords for car sunshades and search the web for baby sun shade tents.
Cooling dog treats – Basil and his Rhodesian Ridgeback pal Maggie go barking for Billy + Margot Iced Treats for Dogs, which we get from our local vet. I’ve also been known to make apple juice ice cubes for Basil, and I’ve seen some fun pics on Pinterest where dog toys have been frozen inside a giant lick-able block.
Doggy Suncreen - yes friends it exists and is a great idea for dogs with white skin, especially on their ears, where fur is scarce. Like us, dogs can also be prone to sunburn and even skin cancer, so get protected with Petkin SPF 15 Doggy Sunscreen.
Well-timed walks - avoid walking your dog between 11am and 3pm, as these are the hottest times of the day. Instead go for early morning, or late evening walks when the temperature is a little cool and remember to take some water.
Protect their paws – hot surfaces can hurt your doggy’s paw pads. Check regularly to ensure they are not in discomfort, and soothe with your pick of paw butter, salve or balm over at PetsPyjamas.
Protect your dog fleas & ticks – these pesky critters are attracted by your dog’s motion and warmth, the latter of which is at a high in summer months. Ticks rank second only to mosquitoes in disease transmission to both pets and humans so get clued up by reading our ‘Are you tick aware’ feature.
Most importantly enjoy a brilliant summer with your favourite four-legged friend.
This post is sponsored by Argos Pet Insurance.