8 expert tips on keeping your dog cool during a heat wave

1. Walk in the early morning or later in the evening

Photo: Polina Tankilevitch

Walking your dog between these times can be dangerous as it is generally the hottest part of the day, making your dog susceptible to heatstroke and burning the pads of their feet on the hot pavement.

2. Make sure they always have the option of a shaded area

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Whether you keep the door to your home open so they can wander in when they need some shade or if you can set up a tent or shaded doggy bed in the garden, a shaded area with ample water will offer a safe space for your dog to cool down.

3. Keep games of fetch on the beach to a minimum

Photo: Lenin Estrada

With each ball retrieval, your dog will most likely ingest a small amount of sand, and whilst it is not particularly harmful when consumed in small amounts, your pup could be in trouble if too much is consumed

Sand is heavy, and when too much is consumed, it can compact inside your dogs' intestines, causing the intestinal tract to shut down. Due to the blockage, food and water will not be able to pass, and thus your dog is likely to show signs of being unwell fairly quickly.

4. Keep them hydrated

Offering ice cubes is a good way to get your dog to take more water

Photo: Bethany Ferr

Offering ice cubes is a good way to get your dog to take more water, as rather than a drink, they’ll see it as a snack - be careful not to offer these when it is too hot, though, as changing your dog’s body temperature too drastically could send them into shock.

Another way to keep your dog adequately hydrated is by soaking their favourite soft toys in cool water This way, as they play with them, they are likely to suck the water out of them without really noticing.

5. Freeze their food

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Try stuffing your dog’s favourite meal or treats into a kong or spreading them onto a lick mat before popping them in the freezer.

Once frozen, you can give it to your dog and watch their delight as they spend hours licking it, just like an ice lolly. Frozen bananas or carrots will go down a treat.

6. Keep your car cool

We all know the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car

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However, if you must leave them for 15 minutes, make sure the car is kept cool by running the AC for a little while before you leave and opening the windows enough to allow some cooler air in.

When travelling, it is also important to keep the car at a comfortable temperature for your pooch, so keep the AC running or lay a cool mat on the seat for your dog to lay on whilst you travel to your destination - of course, it goes without saying, this option should only be used if your dog is still able to be properly strapped in.

7. Get them groomed before or as soon as the hot weather begins

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Often without a good brush or professional groom, the loose hair will sit on your dog's body, which will keep them feeling warm.

As the weather heats up, getting your dog in for a good groom is a good way of removing all excess hair and will aid in keeping them cooler in the summer sun.

8. Invest in the safety of your pooch

Cool mats or vests are a great investment

Photo: Yaroslav Shuraev

Portable water bowls/bottles are another great investment, whether for your morning or evening walk or for those summer car journeys to the seaside.

Keeping your dog hydrated is so important, so having a way of doing this with ease and on the go is a worthwhile investment.

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