Summer is well and truly here and with most Australian states experiencing some heatwave conditions this week so we thought we would share some of our DOOG tips to help keep your dog comfortable in this crazy, hot weather!
We don't know about your dogs but ours can really struggle when we experience back to back hot days. Their fur is a coat, which is the last thing most of us would choose to wear on a hot summer’s day!
Dogs also only have a very limited ability to sweat to cool themselves down, unlike people. They only sweat in areas that aren’t covered with fur, like their paws and nose.
Instead, they rely on panting to cool themselves down. They’re vulnerable to heatstroke, especially older, overweight and short-nosed dogs. Early signs of overheating in dogs include heavy panting and increased drooling.
But there are some simple things you can do to help keep your dog cool in summer.
Tip 1. Make sure they always have plenty of fresh water available
This is a no-brainer, but just remember that it’s easy for dogs to knock a water bowl over. Never leave them with water in just one bowl if you’re out all day. Ceramic bowls are best for keeping water cool. We love these bowls by Aussie brand Outback Tails that have been printed with Aboriginal art from the Central Desert. They come in a large size to hold lots of water and 10% of proceeds fo back to the Aboriginal artists.
If you’re leaving your bowls outside, put them in the shade so that the water stays as cool as possible and doesn’t evaporate as quickly. Always remember that the sun moves throughout the day. Put your bowls in spots that will be shaded all day if possible.
Tip 2. Make sure they have plenty of shade outside
Dogs are smart, they’ll take advantage of any shaded areas. A kennel isn’t the best option in summer, you need others. Your dog’s kennel will often be warmer than the outside air temperature. That makes it great for winter, not summer.
Tip 3. Keep them indoors
On really hot and humid days, keep your dog inside. Tiled areas (like laundries) are usually the coolest spots. Let them enjoy your fans and air conditioning as well if you have them. Or if you don’t, at least open your windows so the breeze gets in.
Tip 4. Never leave your dog alone in your car
Not even for a few minutes. It’s always far hotter inside a parked car than it is outside, even if the windows are down.
Tip 5. Don’t put them in the back of your ute
If you have a ute, try putting your hand in the rear tray on a hot summer’s day. Imagine having to stand on it! Dogs can burn their footpads easily.
Tip 6. Walk them during the coolest parts of the day
Walk your dog in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening. Avoid doing it in the middle of the day. Even if the air temperature seems bearable then, the footpath or the road could still be hot enough to burn their paws.
Tip 7. Give them a swim
Tip 8. Keep them well-groomed
If your dog has a thick coat, give them a clip just before the hot weather starts. Make sure you also brush their coat every few days during summer to remove any loose hair. This will help to make them more comfortable in the heat.