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10 top tips to keep your dog cool and safe this summer

You may be looking forward to enjoying the sunshine this summer, but don’t forget to look after your four-legged friend.

Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin and they can’t take off their thick coats on a hot summer’s day. To keep cool they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose. They also rely on their owners to keep them safe and healthy.

Please cancel or reschedule your PAT visit if the temperature soars and you are concerned about your pet’s welfare. Also follow these top tips:

1 Avoid walks in the heat

The sun is going to be at its hottest in the middle of the day, so try to avoid going out for a walk with your dog at this time. Exercise your pet early in the morning or later at night instead.

2 Do the tarmac test

Check the temperature of the pavement before going for a walk. If you can’t hold your hand down on the tarmac for five seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

3 Provide plenty of water

Always make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh drinking water. Keep bowls topped up throughout the day and carry water on your walks.

4 Provide plenty of shade

Let your dog rest in a shady area of the house, away from direct sunlight. During a heatwave you may also want to give your pet a damp towel to lie on.

5 Go for a swim

Some dogs love swimming in the sea or paddling in a stream and it can help to cool them down. However, note tide times at the beach and remember drinking salt water can make your dog sick.

6 Take your paddling pool out

Got a hot dog at home? If they enjoy splashing around in the water, let them play in a paddling pool in your garden. Don’t, however, force your dog to take a dip.

7 Pay extra attention to older dogs

Don’t over-exert an older dog or one that’s unwell. Frail pets are more vulnerable to heatstroke which can kill. Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, lack of coordination or excessive drooling. Contact your vet immediately if you are worried.

8 Use a pet-safe sun cream

Dogs can get sunburn too, especially if they have light-coloured fur, so you may want to apply some pet-safe sun cream on the sensitive tips of their ears and nose.

9 Groom your dog regularly

As the weather warms up, regular grooming can help your dog to regulate its temperature. A daily brush will remove loose hair and keep them nice and cool.

10 Never leave a dog unattended in a car

It may not be sunny, but temperatures inside a car can soar within a few minutes. Never leave a dog alone in a car, even if you’ve found a shady parking space and windows are open. Dogs die in hot cars, so don’t take the risk.



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