With some days already reaching the high thirties or more, by all indications, it is going to be another hot summer! Hot days can be dangerous for your dog, as they are susceptible to heat stress/stroke.
Particularly at risk are dogs that are obese, have short snouts (e.g. pug or bulldog), or young dogs. Dogs primarily regulate their temperature to cool down by panting; they do not sweat as we do.
Here are a few simple tips that can help prevent heat stress:
1. Do not exercise your dog in the heat.
Change your exercise routine to occur in the cooler parts of the day or perhaps skip the exercise on days of extreme heat. Be careful of hot footpaths that may have been warmed up during the heat of the day as they can damage your dog's paws.
2. Make sure your dog has plenty of water.
Dogs can quickly become dehydrated on hot days. Make sure there is plenty of water accessible for your dog.
3. Ensure there is plenty of shade or a cool well-ventilated room.
Make sure there is plenty of shade available for your dog if it is an outside dog, or bring your dog inside into the air conditioning/cooler room.
4. Make sure your dog is well groomed (long hair breeds)
It may be time for that haircut to help your dog stay cool in this hot weather.
5. Consider a swim or playing under a sprinkler.
If you have access to a dog pool, lake or body of water, consider a swim or some light play around the water. Alternatively, some time under a sprinkler or light spray of water may cool your dog down
6. Freeze some treats
Some dogs enjoy ice cubes or some frozen fruit/treats to consume on a hot day.