Summer’s here, so don't forget that dogs suffer from the same problems as ourselves in hot weather – dehydration, overheating, and even sunburn. If you keep a few things in mind and take action early, you and your dog can have a great summer!
If your dog is outside make sure that it always has an adequate supply of fresh clean water and a place to shelter from the sun. If possible, bring outside dogs inside on hot days.
Dog walkers should be aware than on a hot day of 25ºC with little wind and low humidity the paving and tarmac can reach a scorching 52ºC. Dog walkers should consider the “5 second rule” - this is a simple test where you place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it for five seconds then it’s too hot to walk your dog. Dogs paws are just as sensitive as human feet and susceptible to getting painfully burned even on days that don’t appear overly hot.
Older and obese dogs, as well as dogs with medical problems should be kept inside if possible. Snub-nosed such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, and Shih Tzus can also be susceptible to hot weather problems and should be watched for signs of overheating.
The best time for walking or playtime with your dog is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is very hot and humid as dogs can dehydrate very quickly.
Cars can be death traps for dogs, even with the windows open. A car can go from comfortable to oven-like in minutes, so never leave your dog alone in a car. And don’t think that a cloudy day or parking in the shade reduces the risks. The sun moves during the day and clouds can actually magnify the heat.
If you are taking your dog along in the car for a long trip, always carry a container of cool water for him.
Bringing your dog to the beach is fine, as long as you can ensure he will have shade when he needs it and plenty of clean, fresh water. If your dog likes to swim in the sea, be sure to wash him off with fresh water as soon as possible as salt water can be rough on the coat and skin.
Summer also brings dangers in the form of insecticides, weed sprays, and snail baits, to name a few, so watch out for these hazards in gardens and on your walks.