Summer's finally here and it feels lovely to sit out in the garden with the sun on your face. However, for us dog owners, it's the time of the year when we've got to be the most careful with our precious pooches and keep them safe and cool.
Dogs can't handle the heat as well as us humans can and even on those days that don't feel as hot to us, any type of heat can be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous for dogs.
We're due to have some very hot weather this week and next and so we wanted to share some of our own tips for keeping your dog cool, happy and healthy this summer.
Think twice about your walkies
You should avoid walking your dog if it's a very hot day, especially in the heat of the day. If you must take your dog out, stick to early morning or late evening walks when the sun isn't as strong. Try to stay in shaded areas as much as possible and make sure you always have plenty of water with you.
Not only can dogs get heatstroke in temperatures that feel mild to us, they can also burn their little paws on the hot ground! So if you must walk in the heat, even for a short amount of time - stay in the shade and check the floor temperature with your forearm before heading out.
Water's always your best friend
Water cools dogs down inside and out and is essential especially on those hot days. Make sure you have a clean, cool bowl of water available for your dog at all times and if you're travelling make sure you take a travel bottle or bowl with you.
On those very hot days, pouring cool (but never cold, as this can cause shock) water over your dog, cools them down and gives them a bit of relief! Even better, treat them to their own paddling pool or put a sprinkler on in the garden for them to play under if you have outdoor space.
Breaks in the shade
Keep your dog inside in the shade, preferably with a fan or ensure they have shade in the garden. Cool mats, or a wet towel are also great ways to keep them cool. Pop it in the shade or inside so it stays cooler for longer and try positive reinforcement training to encourage your dog to lie on the mat.
If your dog tends to follow you around the house, base yourself in a cool room when working or relaxing at home if possible. Your dog loves you so much that even if a roasting hot room is uncomfortable, they'll often stay in there just to be close to you!
Cold or frozen food and toys are a great way to keep your pup cool on those hot days, plus it gives them something fun and yummy to try! Freeze their favourite toy or treats in water or broth, or fill their Twist Toss toy with peanut butter or yoghurt and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours! You can also give our new range of freeze toys a go, which help keep your pup hydrated and cool during the summer.
You can also try soaking a bandana (or tea towel!) in cold water and then popping it around your pup to offer them some relief from the heat.
Playtime at home
When our dogs are missing out on exploring the great outdoors, it's important we keep their brains active and entertained to compensate for the lack of physical exercise. Here are some of our favourite (and free!) ways to keep your dog's mind active and working hard.
1. Hide treats around the house for them to scavenge (dogs love to use their noses to find food!)
2. Freeze their favourite toy in water and let them lick, bite and claw their way through the ice to rescue it
3. Tug of war is always a firm favourite in our house but make sure you do it inside in a cool room as exercise should be limited in the heat
And there you go, there are some of our top tips to keep your pup happy, healthy and cool this summer.
We hope you enjoy giving them a try and if you've got any other tips or ideas, pop them below!