Expert shares top 10 tips for keeping your dogs’ cool this summer

Summer is the season all British people look forward to. It provides well needed vitamin D, fun day trips, holidays abroad and not to mention the long summer days spent playing outdoors with our furry friends. But with higher temperatures, comes a higher chance of dehydration, heat stroke, burnt paws and more for our pets.

To ensure your dog is happy and healthy this summer, here are Bella & Duke’s Natural Canine Behaviourist, Caroline Spencer’s hottest tips for the coolest pups:

Water, water, everywhere

Like humans, dogs sweat and lose water, mainly through the glands in their paws. They can lose up to 1 litre of water per day and the more water they lose, the higher the chances of overheating. Have multiple water stations spread equally around your home during summer to safeguard your dog from overheating and dehydration. Switch their food to wet dog food like Bella & Duke’s complete raw meals to ensure extra water intake, carry a water bottle for them when going outside or for a walk. To make their water extra tasty and irresistible, why not add a delicious bone broth like Bonnie Broth from Bella & Duke.

Stick to the shade

Heat stroke can easily be induced by direct sunlight, so if you are in outside areas, make sure your dog can sit in the shade. Most dogs will naturally orientate to shadier spots, but it’s good to keep an eye on your dog to make sure they have not gone astray into the sun. Signs of heat stroke to look out for are excessive panting, drooling, reddened gums, dullness or loss of consciousness.

Leave the car at home

There is no safe time to leave a dog alone in the car, but particularly in the summer months, the temperature in your car rises above what the temperature outside is. In a car, dogs can develop heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Even with water and open windows, cars are not a safe space for dogs in the summer.

Long walks on the beach

Long walks on the beach are a big no for your pup, but sunbathing while your dog goes for a swim is a great way to keep your pet cool. Dogs have sensitive feet that can burn or get injured if the ground they are walking on is too hot, so if on the beach don’t let your dog walk on the hot sand for too long. However, a refreshing dip in the cool water can work wonders to bring down your dog’s body temperature. Not all dogs will like swimming in water but encourage them to try it when you can and don’t leave them unsupervised.

A cool appetiser

Humans are not the only creatures that like cool food in warm weather. Keep your dog food and treats in the fridge for chilled serving and/or feed them wet food like Bella & Duke’s complete raw meals. A cool dish of raw meat is the perfect summer supper. While bone broth lollies are great summer snacks. Pop your bone broth into some ice cube or lolly moulds, leave in the freezer for a few hours and serve. You can even use a pizzle as the lolly stick.

Chill by the (paddling) pool

For when you don’t have access to the beach, why not invest in a paddling pool for your pooch to splash about in. In a shady spot of the garden, fill a pool with chilled water but don’t make it too cold as this can cause your dog to go into body shock on a very hot day. They will absorb water through their skin and paws making sure they are hydrated as well as cool.

Staying safe by the BBQ

Whether you’re planning a feast in the garden or a BBQ on the beach, it’s important your dog is kept safe around all the temptations. Food sizzling on the BBQ is tantalizing for everyone! Dog’s sense of smell is so much better than ours, for them BBQ food is even more irresistible so it’s a big ask not to grab a snack. Make sure you place your BBQ well out of the way, where dogs and children can’t get to it. Also beware of any kebab sticks, BBQ briquettes and firelighters laying around as these are something the perfect opportunist and scavenging eater will try get their paws on!

Lathering up is also for pooches

Yes, dogs can get sunburnt, and yes, sunscreen is also for dogs. Body parts less covered in hair are more at risk of sunburn in summer, and lighter haired dogs are the most at risk, so use sunscreen designed for canine use for protection. Sunburn for dogs isn’t just painful, but like humans it can also increase risk of skin cancer.

Grooming is cooling

Most dogs will start to shed their coat as summer begins, so regular brushing will get rid of any old hair that could make them even hotter. This is particularly important if your dog goes through a summer moult or has a heavy coat. Also note that dogs do not benefit from being completely shaved down. It can result in skin problems as their skin isn’t meant to be fully exposed.

Protect your pup from parasites

Before tick season gets into full swing, make sure your dog is protected and you are prepared. Ticks and other biting bugs hide in long grass and love to latch onto pet’s and people’s skin. Ticks can carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, so check your dog for them if you go for a grassy walk and if they have one, either remove it yourself or take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Caroline Spencer, Natural Canine Behaviourist at Bella & Duke, added: “Summer provides great opportunities for an array of bonding activities, but it is important that amongst all the fun, we take the necessary precautions to ensure our pets safety first, particularly when life-threatening scenarios are at risk.

“Like humans you can never be too prepared when getting our companions ready for summer fun, set aside plenty of time to plan your journeys so you and your pet can enjoy the warm weather to the fullest potential!”