Protecting Your Dog In Extreme Temperatures: Our 14 Top Tips


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Protecting Your Dog In Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures can be as dangerous to dogs as they can be to humans and, in some cases, even more dangerous. When extreme temperatures are predicted, it is a good idea to take steps to ensure that your dog will be comfortable.

Dogs, unlike humans, sweat through their paws and noses, meaning it may be harder for them to keep cool.

They may also be less able to recognize worrying signs, meaning they might keep playing or running, getting hotter and hotter until they reach dangerous levels. 

As a dog owner, it is vital to understand how scorching temperatures can impact your dog. You may need to take various steps to ensure they remain cool, comfortable, and healthy during summer heat waves.

It can help to remember that for as uncomfortable as you might be during a hot summer, your dog experiences while essentially wearing a warming fur coat. 

Keep Large, Fresh Bowls Of Water Around The Home

Access to water is crucial at any time of the year, but it is best to be extra vigilant during hot weather. It may help to keep water bowls around the house so that your dog can easily access them.

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This could include bowls out in the garden and on every floor of the home, particularly in larger houses.

It may help to change this water regularly so that it is fresh and cold for your dog when they need it. Colder water may also help keep your dog’s temperature down, helping them feel more comfortable in extreme temperatures. 

Take Water And A Bowl On Walks

It is a good idea to take water with you on any walk with your dog. During the summer, you may need to take more water than at other times of the year.

There are handy travel water bottles with an attachment that serves as a bowl, which could be a great way to give your dog water on the go.

If a dog is thirsty, they may try to drink water from sources on their walks, such as puddles and streams.

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This may be dangerous for your dog, so it is a good idea to be alert when walking to ensure that you can provide them with water when needed. 

Stop For Breaks Regularly When Playing On Hot Days

Dogs are known for their love of playing, running, and enjoying warm weather. It may feel wrong to stop them when they’re enjoying themselves, but it is your job to ensure that they don’t overheat or overexert themselves in hot weather.

Regular breaks during play or walks could be the key to preventing heatstroke in your dog. Unlike humans, dogs may not recognize the need to stop and cool down, particularly if they are having fun.

Depending on the temperature, you could stop every 10 to 20 minutes for a few minutes to give your dog a chance to cool off. 

Go For Walks At The Right Time

A good option for keeping your dog safe in hot temperatures is to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day.

During heatwaves, temperatures may reach dangerous levels for your dog early in the day and may persist until later in the evening.

If extreme temperatures are predicted, it may be best to take them for their walks around dawn and dusk.

This might make for very early mornings and late nights at the height of summer, but the benefits could be worth it to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Never Leave Dogs Alone In The Car

Many modern dog owners are aware of the dangers of leaving a dog unattended in a car, but some may still be unaware of how risky this can be.

Heat levels cars may get dangerous faster than you think, so it is best to avoid leaving your dog in the car even for just a few minutes.

Some modern vehicles have settings that allow owners to control the climate for their pets, with a message on the in-car screen to reassure passers-by that all is well.

These may be a workable solution, but there may still be a risk that climate control will not work as it should. It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid leaving your dogs in the car alone at any time

Freeze Some Doggie Treats

Frozen treats are not just for humans during the hot summer months. Dogs could enjoy tasty cooling treats to help them regulate their temperature and avoid getting overheated and uncomfortable.

You could consider freezing some of their treats in an ice tray with water to give them a tasty cold treat.

Plain ice cubes can also be a good option, but it is best to avoid giving your dog anything that could be a choking hazard.

Recognize The Warning Signs

It is helpful for any dog owner to understand what warning signs they should look for during hot temperatures.

Heatstroke could be a main concern during hot weather, and being able to catch the condition early may be crucial to getting them the help they need.

Dogs experiencing heat stroke may become lethargic, have an increased heartbeat, drool and pant excessively, or vomit. 

If you notice any of the signs of heatstroke in your dog, it is best to take them to the vet. The vet can check your dog out and provide essential treatment to help them regulate their body temperature properly again.

Taking out dog insurance could help give you peace of mind that your dog will receive quality care should they experience heat-related issues like heatstroke.

Insurers like Purely Pets can be a great option, as they offer various levels of specialist pet insurance for dog owners. 

Use Doggy Sunscreen

Any area of your dog not protected by fur could be susceptible to sunburn. Dogs with very fine or white coats could also experience sunburn after just a few minutes in the sunshine.

Just like in humans, sunburn can be uncomfortable and distressing for dogs. Fortunately, there are dog-safe sunscreen products available to help prevent sunburn in your dog.

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It may be best to talk to your vet and get their recommendation for the best sunscreen for your dog. You may need to reapply the sunscreen throughout the day to ensure your dog gets the very best protection and remains happy and comfortable during the summer. 

Check How Warm The Ground Is

Before taking your dog for a walk, it could be a good idea to check the temperature of the ground. As mentioned above, it may be best to go for walks during the coolest part of the day, but if you need to take your dog out during a warmer part of the day, it is best to take precautions. Fortunately, this can be as simple as touching your palm to your ground. 

If the pavement or tarmac is too hot for you to touch comfortably, it will also be too hot for your dog’s sensitive paw pads.

If there is a chance you might need to take your dog out when the pavement is hot, you could consider investing in heat-protective shoes for them to wear. Alternatively, you could drive your dog to a grassy area where the heat will not be as extreme on their sensitive paws. 

Give Them Plenty Of Shade

Dogs, like humans, may enjoy sunbathing during warm summer days. However, like humans, dogs might find that they need some time out of the sun to cool off. It is a good idea to provide different areas with shade for your dog, so they can find a place to relax and cool off after enjoying the sunshine for a while.

This could be as simple as leaving the door to the garden open so your dog can come and go as they like. 

It may also help to ensure there is shade in the garden so they can enjoy the fresh air outside without the sun beating down on them.

Planting trees and shrubs could be a good option, though they may not provide enough shade until a year or two later. Quick solutions like sun umbrellas could be a good solution for both you and your dog on hot sunny days. 

Consider Investing In A Paddling Pool

Paddling pools can be just as much fun for dogs as they are for adults – particularly in hot weather. It is best to empty the paddling pool at the end of the day and refill it in the morning, as your dog may drink the water in it, so keeping it fresh is vital. It might be best to avoid any inflatable paddling pools, which could be punctured by your dog’s claws or teeth.

There are doggy-safe paddling pools available if your dog has a tendency to destroy more flimsy pools designed for children’s use. A paddling pool may also be a good investment for human members of the family to keep cool during hot summer days. 

Get Them Groomed More Often In Hot Weather

Dogs with longer or thicker coats might find it harder to keep cool during a heatwave, which could result in heatstroke. It could help to schedule more regular grooming sessions for your dog during the hotter months to help mitigate the risk that their coats could present.

You might find that groomers are busier during the summer, so booking well in advance could be beneficial. 

Grooming can help keep your dog’s coat healthy, as well as keep it lightweight in the summer. Unless you know what you’re doing, it may be best to avoid cutting your dog’s fur yourself.

Instead, you could consider making bookings with your groomer every three to four weeks over the summer so their coat will not become too long when the chances of a heatwave are higher. 

Ensure Your Dog Is A Healthy Weight

The healthy weight for a dog can vary depending on their breed. If your dog is overweight for their breed and size, it could make it harder for them to deal with hot weather.

You could get some advice from your vet on how to help your dog lose weight if they are currently overweight.

This could include advice on specialist diets and foods to help them lose extra weight and maintain a healthy weight. If your dog is overweight, it may be best to keep them at home during heatwaves as even low-strain exercise could cause heatstroke or other complications. You could keep them at home and do some gentle exercises like playing with toys. 

Put A Fan Down On Their Level

Fans can be a great way to keep cool on hot summer days. Many people use freestanding fans to keep a nice breeze circulating.

Fans may also be an excellent way to keep your pets cool, so it could help to invest in a separate fan placed where the cool breeze can be enjoyed by your dog. It is a good idea to ensure that the fan is safe for your dog and that they won’t be able to access the blades or anything else that could cause injury to them.

For added cooling, you could place a bowl of ice in front of the fan so that the cold air from the ice is circulated throughout the room. 

Before You Go

It can help to take a range of steps to help keep your dog cool and comfortable during the summer. While they may not enjoy fewer walks or playing opportunities, as an owner, it is crucial to keep their welfare in mind and make the right choices to help them stay comfortable and happy.

It is best to think about how to keep them hydrated and how to cool them down when they do get warm. It is also a very good idea to understand the warning signs to look out for when it comes to overheating and heatstroke so that you know what to do.

If you are concerned about your dog in the heat, particularly if they are showing signs of heatstroke, it is often best to take your dog to the vet to ensure that they are well. 

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