Big Walkies A-Z guide for dogs in hot weather
A - Always ensure that your dog has a supply of water.
B - Be aware of keeping your dog cool when on car journeys together e.g. leave a window open for fresh air and stop regularly to check your animal. If you want to take your dog with you on a car journey and make sure that your destination is dog-friendly.
C - Carry water with you when out on hot days, and give your dog frequent small amounts.
D - Dogs can get sunburned too – particularly those with light-coloured noses or light-coloured fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.
E - Exercise - even when it is hot. Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Never allow your dog to exercise excessively in hot weather.
F – Feeding - Give the meals at cooler times of the day e.g. morning and evening.
G - Give your dog 10% less food than normal.
H – Hair cut - Give long haired dogs a short clip.
I – Ice - try putting ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl to keep it cool.
J – Jogging with your dog – avoid this in hot weather.
K – Keep your dog in the shade. Never leave a dog in a sunny place with no shade. Never leave your dog in a glass conservatory or a caravan. Even if it is cloudy when you leave, the sun may come out later in the day and make it unbearably hot. Your dog should always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment if he/she is feeling hot. If you have to leave your dog outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where he/she can escape from the sun at all times of the day.
L – Long walks – avoid long walks in hot weather.
M – Making sure you know the signs of a dog overheating. Any exercise will make him pant but watch for when the panting becomes "heaving" this is the earliest sign that he is getting too hot. When the panting has become loud and is becoming a "roar" he has already become too hot and the outcome can be fatal.
N - Never leave a dog in a car.
O – Older dogs - Older dogs and dogs which are overweight need extra care in the hot weather as they can overheat a lot quicker and may be less tolerant to the heat and less able to regulate their body temperature.
P – Paddling pools! Paddling/shallow pools can help a dog to cool down and many dogs enjoy access to one. Don’t leave a dog with access to a pool unsupervised and make sure the dog can get out of the pool easily.
Q – Quick thinking – If you think that your dog is overheating call your local vet immediately.
R – Running - In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them. They can quickly become severely overheated, and an “exercise” session can turn into a medical emergency.
S – Stay alert - Keep an eye on all outdoor dogs. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see a dog in distress, contact the RSPCA right away and give the dog immediate relief by providing water.
T - Take your dog for a cool swim rather than a walk.
U – Umbrellas - A carefully placed umbrella or a leafy tree can provide ample shade or make sure a cosy porch is well ventilated and out of direct sunlight.
V – Vets – keep your vets number to hand. This is technically just for when it’s warm, at all times your should have access to your vets number.
W - When walking your dog you need to take note of the surface that your dog is treading on. Certain kinds of pavement asphalt and sand can burn your dog’s paws if really hot. Try the surface with your hand; if it’s too hot for you to place your hand, its way too hot for your dog’s paw pads.
X – eXercising your rights…. (Yes I cheated a little with X!) If you see a dog in a parked car when the weather is hot, note the car’s details including colour, registration number and model. Note where it is parked then call the police on 999. If the car is in a shop’s car park, ask the shop to put out a notice asking the owner to return to their car. If the owner does not quickly come forward, call the police immediately. Do not leave until the dog is safe.
Y - You can get a dog jacket that keeps him cool. Some pet shops and online stores stock jackets that have specially made layers of fabric that trap in cool water and reflect light. Great if you take your dog sailing or on long walks, where he may be exposed to long hours of sunlight.
Z – Zzzzzz, dogs sleep a lot in hot weather, but if you are concerned about your dog call a vet immediately.