Summer is finally here, so it’s time to enjoy the outdoors with our furry friends. But it’s no secret that hot weather and harsh summer sun can be dangerous for dogs. So, here are some extra steps to keep your pup safe and cool during the Australian summer.
Walk the Walk
Firstly, always ensure your dog has access to shade and drinking water. When walking your dog, take routes that are out of direct sunlight where possible, and bring a collapsible bowl and water so your pup can stay hydrated.
Prolonged exposure to UV rays and hot concrete can cause heat stroke or burns. So, if the day is going to be particularly hot, walk your dog during the cooler hours. Also, prior to leaving for a walk, hold the back of your hand against the road or concrete footpath. If you can’t keep it there for more than five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Dogs can also suffer sunburns, just like us. Common areas for sunburn on dogs are the tip of the nose (especially if the nose is pink), tips of the ears, and belly. So, apply a dog-safe sunscreen to any sensitive or sunburn-prone areas before leaving the house.
Note: sunscreen formulated for humans can be toxic to dogs. Only use non-toxic, dog-specific sunscreen from a pet store on your dog.
Ice, Ice Baby
For a special summer treat, try making some pup-sicles. Grab some silicone popsicle moulds and freeze water with your pup’s favourite foods. Keep your dog happy and cool, all at the same time!
Or, if your dog loves to swim or splash about, fill a clamshell pool halfway with lukewarm water. Your dog will have a blast playing and will lower their body temperature in the process. Important: remember to supervise your dog—and any children present, around water at all times.
If you’re going on a long walk or hike with your dog, it might be worth purchasing a cooling vest. These doggie vests are filled with cooling gel and can help reduce the risk of overheating. Gel dog beds, collars, and bandanas can also help keep your furry friend cool on hot summer days.
If you’d like some help caring for your dog in summer (and all year round), we can help. Our in home care services include pet sitting, dog walking, and more. Click here to contact your local Simply Helping and explore the services available in your area.