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Dogs are known to enjoy laying in the warmth of the sun, but it can be unbearable for them on a scorching hot day. When the temperature is high, our canine companions are at risk of heat-related illness such as heat stroke, which can be fatal if left untreated. While there are plenty of ways to avoid your dog overheating in the warm weather, they may still be left feeling uncomfortable and unsettled by the extreme heat. Luckily there are plenty of safe ways to cool down your hot and bothered pets – and this is how.
How to safely cool down your dog
When the heat arrives, dogs can feel as hot and bothered as humans, so it’s down to us to help keep them cool and comfortable.
While avoiding sun-soaked walks and sticking to shaded areas is the best way to stop your pet from overheating, it’s also worth knowing these quick hacks to treat your dog if they’re suffering in the warm weather.
Get a fan
Use the cool breeze of an electric fan to put your dog at ease in their favourite lounging spot.
For an extra refreshing experience, place some frozen water bottles in front of the fan to make use of the water droplets as they melt away.
Always keep an eye on your pet while using this method to avoid any unwanted accidents with electrical equipment.
Keep them hydrated
Hydration is crucial for both you and your dog in the hot weather, and it is especially important after taking them for an early morning or late evening walk on a warm day.
Pooch & Mutt’s in-house Veterinary surgeon, Dr Linda Simon said: “Keeping a stubborn dog hydrated in the summer can be difficult, especially when it is near impossible to force them to drink from their water bowl.
“Thankfully, there are alternative ways to ensure your pup is consuming enough water.”
Ice cubes are a good way to get your dog to take more water, as rather than a drink, they’ll see it as a snack.
Dr Simon warned that owners should 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”.
Instead, warm them up in your hand a little before offering them to your pet.
She added: “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.”
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Freeze their food
Freezing your dogs’ food is a great way to keep them both cool and occupied.
While you shouldn’t free entire pouches of dog food, you can make use of lick mats and kong toys.
Dr Simon said: “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.”
Keep your car cool
When it’s too hot to walk your dog at the peak of the day, driving to a shaded woodland or coastal spot is a great way to get them exercised and cool them down on the way.
If you can, drive to a cool location in the early morning or evening, (when the temperature is below 20C) and blast the AC or keep the windows down on the journey.
Never leave your dog in the car unattended on a hot day.
A cool mat laid on the seat for your dog is another great way to keep them cool while heading to your destination.
It goes without saying that this option should only be used if your dog is still able to be properly strapped into your vehicle.
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