Worried your pup isn’t enjoying the sun as much as you are? Especially if you have an excitable young puppy or your pet is nearing the end of its life, staying cool is hugely important, for your dog’s general happiness as well as their health. Some breeds are more sensitive to heat exhaustion than others. If your pup is a flat-faced breed like a pug or chow-chow or has a thicker, heavy coat like a golden retriever, you’ll need to be even more vigilant when it comes to keeping them cool, hydrated and out of the sun.
As a general rule, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Benchmark Kennels have rounded up the best ways to keep your pup cool, so you can enjoy the sunshine with your furry friend, in as safe a way as possible.
How to Cool Your Dog Down
Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day
Although summer seems like the perfect time to enjoy endless walks with your pup, be aware that exercising in the hot sun can cause your dog’s temperature to rapidly overheat. If you can, take your dog out in the early morning or late afternoon, when the air and pavements are both cool enough for your pup to have a proper runaround, without the risk of overheating.
If it’s just too hot to take your dog on your usual walking route at all, you’ll need to introduce other activities that involve limited energy, but still help your pup get some mental stimulation. Brain games at mealtimes will ensure your dog can enjoy getting rid of some excess energy and spend some bonding time with you too.
Choose an insulated kennel
It’s important for your dog to have a shady, safe space they can relax in when it gets too hot for them to play outside comfortably. Kennels with insulated panels like Benchmark’s insulated timber cabins help keep your dog protected from the elements all year round. When the temperature heats up, thermal insulation regulates temperatures inside your kennel, so your pup can stay cool during summer, and warm during winter.
Low maintenance eco-thermal kennels are also a great option for your pup, offering ventilation, space to move around and play in, and a shaded area away from direct sunlight so that your dog can cool down easily. Elevated kennels with a raised bed help improve the airflow too, keeping your animal’s cosy home cool and well ventilated.
Make sure you have water with you at all times
The easiest and most important way to keep your dog happy and healthy in the summertime is to make sure they stay hydrated. Dogs need access to cool, clean water at all times. If you’re out and about with your pup, make sure to keep a bottle of water with you, or you could even use a frozen toy to entertain them while regulating their temperature at the same time.
You can also use cool water to pour over your pup if they seem to be panting heavily, or they’ve spent time in the sun. Remember though, you should never give your dog any ice or an icy cold drink when they’re too hot. This could encourage their body temperature to cool down too quickly, and ultimately make their symptoms worse.
Never leave your dog in an unattended car
Unventilated spaces can feel stuffy, claustrophobic and unbearably hot to humans, so imagine how uncomfortable they will be to our furry friends. You should never leave your dog in your car. Even if you leave your pup with water, crack the car windows or are only intending to leave them for a short period of time, your car can heat up incredibly quickly. Most pet owners know the risks, but even after just a few minutes, a hot car can cause serious and potentially fatal issues.
Your pet’s hair should be long enough to stay comfortable, without the risk of it becoming matted, tangled or dirty. Even for dogs that moult a lot, regular brushing and grooming can give you the opportunity to check your puppy’s fur and skin for any issues, burns or bites, as well as helping you form an even closer bond with them. Taking the time to regularly give your dog a good brush gives you the chance to spend some quality time with your pup, and stop their matted fur from becoming hot and irritated in the summer heat too.
Remember that animal fur has evolved to act as insulation in the winter and as a cooling system in the summertime. Because of this, you should never shave your pup or trim their coat without the help of a professional groomer.
Spotting the signs of heat exhaustion
With higher sensitivity than us, dogs are unfortunately much more likely to suffer overheating, heat exhaustion and dehydration than we are. If your dog isn’t kept cool, they could suffer uncomfortable symptoms of heatstroke, a condition that can be fatal if it’s not noticed quickly. To protect your pup during the summer, it’s important to recognise the signs of heatstroke, as well as how to prevent it from happening.
- Excessive panting and dribbling
- Reddened gums
- Mental confusion
- General discomfort
- Weakness or collapse
You know your furry friend better than anyone. Keeping an eye out for any signs of unusual behaviour in your dog, as well as taking measures to keep them as cool as possible, will help stop the temperature from affecting them, so you can enjoy the sun safely and happily. Heatstroke can cause serious problems, quickly, so keep your dog close by on hot days to make sure you can monitor them carefully.
If you’re looking for the perfect kennel to ensure your pup is as healthy, happy and cool as possible during the summer months, Benchmark Kennels offer a range of kennel options for your dog to call their own, as well as advice on the best kind of home for your extra family member.