With bitter cold winters and rain all year round both key features of UK weather, many people will be longing for heatwave weather.
However, as the temperatures begin reaching the 30 degrees mark and we get our own taste of Mediterranean weather, it’s important you take extra measures to make sure your dog is safe in the heat.
Don’t walk your dog at the hottest times of the day
As the British summer reaches its peak, plan your daily dog walks at times that avoid the hottest sun. In a heatwave, it’s best to walk your dog first thing in the morning, or as late as possible in the evening, to avoid them overheating.
Heatstroke can be fatal for dogs, and it can only take a small increase of a dog’s body temperature to kick in.
Plan your walks to ensure there is lots of shade available for yourself and your pup to take a break from the sun.
If the weather is particularly hot, you may even want to cut your walks short to avoid over-exercising your dog in the heat. If you have a young or energetic dog that is desperate to run around and play, keeping your dog on a longer training lead during the heat could stop them from wearing themselves out.
Take a temperature test before leaving
If you’re taking your dog out during daylight hours in a hot spell, make sure to take the temperature test before you leave.
The Kennel Club recommends using the seven second rule to work out if it’s safe to walk your dog. Place the back of your hand on the pavement for second seconds, if the ground feels too warm on your skin, it will also be too hot for your furry friend.
Hot surfaces can burn or blister your dog’s paw pads. Signs of burnt paws are limping, licking or biting their paws, part of the pad could be missing, or they could be red and blistered - if you spot any of these signs, take your dog to a vet.
Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water at all times
While at home, make sure your dog’s water bowl is refilled regularly. To help cool your pup down and keep them hydrated, freeze some fruit, natural yoghurt or their favourite treats inside an ice cube.
If you’re making the most of the rare patch of sun and visiting friends or family, or heading for a pub garden lunch, make sure your dog will have access to water. You can find portable pet water bowls on Amazon to stay fully prepared.
If your dog likes to be outside and the blaring sun doesn’t deter them from wanting to be in the garden, you could think about getting a paddling pool for your dog to splash around in!
Never leave your dog alone in a hot car or sun trap
As restrictions ease across the UK, many people will be making the most of the summer by heading off on staycation or out for day trips with their furry friends. It’s vital you plan your trips carefully to ensure you don’t need to leave your dog unattended in the car on your journey.
Compact spaces such as cars are sun traps in a heatwave, and even if you park in the shade and leave your windows open, it could still be dangerous for your dog. Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day.
If you do spot a distressed dog left in a car on a hot summer's day, call 999.
Other spaces such as caravans, conservatories or outbuildings like greenhouses or sheds can also be too hot for your dog.
You can still make the most of the hot weather and enjoy the British summer while keeping your dog safe. Follow these steps and pay attention to any changes in your dog to make sure this summer doesn’t end in disaster.