Summer in Australia is famous for its sunny days and high temperatures. The heat we experience can be welcoming, but sometimes it can get a little too much. Keeping your pet’s health in mind at this time of year is a must! We want to share some tips with you for keeping your pooch cool this summer. But before we do this we want to let you know the signs to look out for to help you figure out when your pooch is feeling the heat.
Dehydration: If you notice the following signs, your pooch may be experiencing dehydration: A dry mouth, they seem lethargic or out of energy, and or sunken eyes. It can be difficult to tell if your pooch is dehydrated, so make sure to have plenty of water about for them at all times. If you suspect dehydration, take your dog to the vet, and provide them with access to water straight away
Heat Stroke: If your dog has one or a combination of the following: a seemingly high temperature, has muscle tremors, is excessively panting or has thick saliva, they may have heat stroke. This can be serious and you should take your dog straight to a qualified veterinarian. In the meantime you can wrap your dog in cool towels, fan them and provide access to water to help reduce their temperature.
So, now you know what to look out for and when to seek help. But prevention is always better than treatment, so here are our tips for keeping your pooch cool this summer:
This sounds obvious, but can easily be overlooked. In the hotter months, ensure that your pup has adequate water supply, and this will need to be monitored closely to ensure that it doesn’t run out. In the hotter months, your dog is most likely to drink much more water than usual. Keep a close eye on their water or purchase a self-filling water bowl.
2. Avoid heavy exercise
Another obvious one, but training or exercising your pooch too heavily in the summer months is not the best idea. This can increase their temperature and makes them more susceptible to heatstroke, and or dehydration. You can still take them for a walk, but just ensure that you’re walking in the shade, and not on the hot pavement. Or try and make their walk time first thing in the morning, or last thing in the afternoon when temps are at their lowest.
3. Let them enjoy the Air-con too
Even if your furry friend lives outdoors, in the hotter months it’s always kinder to let him inside the house, even if you have a shaded yard. Majority of us have the luxury of Air-Conditioning in Australia, so make sure to let everyone take advantage of it! It may be hard to tell whether your doggo is hot, but a good measuring stick for judging whether your pooch is hot is that, if you’re feeling hot, he probably is too.
4. Take them for a splash in some water
Whether you invest in a kiddies paddling pool or take them down to the beach, a swim is a great and simple way to reduce your dog’s temperature, and fast! Sprinklers are also good fun for the backyard. If you’re off for a swim at the beach or river, don’t forget your Shake It Off Shammy! Because no-one likes that wet dog smell in their car.
5. Take a drinking bowl or bottle with you
If you are taking your canine out for a stroll in the summer months, make sure to take a collapsible bowl and a big bottle of water so that your pup can have a slurp whenever they need it. Also, avoid hot pavements; pooches can fry their pads if they’re treading on the hot pavement for too long. A great way to test this is to place the back of your hand on the ground. If it’s feeling too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws.
6. Keep them clean
Another great tip for keeping your dog cool in summer, is to give them a bath! (Now, this one’s one of our faves!) Regular baths will keep their coats free to breathe and will remove any knots and tangles. Dr Zoo just happens to have a furrbulous Shampoo and Conditioner for you to try.
7. Consider a haircut
Shaving is a great idea for some dogs in summer, however, it’s important to know that some dogs have a double coat, which shouldn’t be shaved as they are designed to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. Make sure to do your research on your breed of dog before considering this one. For dogs with double coats, regular grooming is a must; but shaving is a big no, no.
8. Stay Protected
The sun in Australia is harsh. The heat from the sun is intense, and so are those harmful UV rays. Always remember your dog can get sunburnt too! So just like you would for your skin make sure you are applying sun protection to your dog’s light areas, like their nose, ears or belly if they like to sunbake upside down, as these are all prone to sunburn. BUT don’t just use any old Sunscreen you have lying around. Many human sunscreens can be toxic to pets, including natural zinc-based ones. We just happen to make a great Natural Zinc-Free Sun cream which is perfectly safe if ingested! Make sure you have a tube handy this summer.
These are our tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer months, so remember to be cautious and pay attention to the signs, but most of all have fun in the sun!