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Dog cupboard essential – Fast Acting Digestive Support
50% off - YuDIGEST PLUS for Dogs £4.98 £9.95

Fast working powder sachet to help with the runs.

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Dog cupboard essential – Fast Acting Digestive Support
50% off - YuDIGEST PLUS for Dogs £4.98 £9.95

Fast working powder sachet to help with the runs.

10 Tips to Cool Down Your Dog

Keep your dog as cool as cucumber this summer

With the arrival of some scorching summer heatwaves, we've put together a guide on how to keep dogs calm and cool, and why it's so important to take this seriously. Here are our top tips on how to stop your dog from overheating this summer:

Dog in grass

1. Provide a safe, shady den

Move their bed to a shady spot, and swap warm blankets for an old towel. If they sleep in a crate, spread damp bath towels over the top to create a cool, damp, shady den. If they’ve taken to lying on the bathroom or kitchen floor, let them! Tiles can be a great way to cool down.

2. Chill their bed

Jack Russell in bed

There are some fantastic ‘cool beds’ and ‘cool mats’ available for dogs. We particularly like gel cool beds – these absorb the heat from your dog’s body, and need no batteries, refrigeration or time in the freezer… ideal for camping and days out. A homemade alternative is a damp towel in a shady spot – or popping your picnic ice packs underneath their usual blanket.

3. DIY doggie air-con

Got a fan? Got a freezer? Make DIY aircon. Freeze a large container of water – we use ice cream tubs – then set up the fan so that it blows over the ice and sends cool air towards your dog’s bed. To ensure that your dog doesn’t knock the fan, pop it on a high surface and angle downwards to keep everyone safe.

4. Change your dog-walking schedule

If you normally go for walkies with your dog at lunchtime or the early afternoon, swap your schedule for an early morning walk and a late evening stroll. This way, you'll avoid the sweltering midday heat. If you can’t change your routine time-wise, think about where you’re walking. Swap open fields for cool woodland walks, or better still opt for beaches or lakeside walks so your dog can dive in for a cooling paddle or swim. 

Labrador on lead in forest

5. Protect your dog's paw

Do you have an urban pooch? If so, don’t forget that pavements can get seriously hot! Before heading out, touch-test the pavement with your own hand or foot. If it's too hot for your hand, or you wouldn’t want to walk on it barefoot, don’t ask your dog to do the same. If you must be out and about on hot pavements, consider some protective boots and a cool coat as detailed below.

6. Get a cool coat

If you must be out and about in hot weather, consider a cooling coat. Just wet the coat, then pop it on your dog – the cool dampness creates heat exchange with your dog’s body, so they effectively ‘sweat’ like a person. There are many different brands available, but these are some of our favourites.

7. Visit the groomers

If your dog is a breed or mix that can be clipped, get regular trims in summertime. Many double coated breeds shouldn’t be clipped or trimmed – but will find relief in a thorough grooming to get any insulating dead hair out.

8. Cool them down with water

Dog in water

Not all dogs love water, but most will appreciate its cooling effects. Setting up a paddling pool in your garden will encourage your pup to paddle or wallow on hot days. For those who aren’t so keen, a wet flannel (or quick hose down!) on the belly, chest and legs will help them cool down without resorting to a full shower or bath.

It goes without saying that you should always provide lots of cool drinking water for your pet. On especially hot days, consider popping an ice-cube in their water bowl to keep it chilled.

9. Put the toys away

Not all dogs are as sensible as they should be on hot days, so if it’s warm, consider popping their toys away for the day so they don’t accidentally over-exercise and end up with heatstroke. The same advice goes for games like fetch and playing with their canine friends. If you have more than one playful dog, consider separating them on the hottest days.

10. Make doggie ice lollies – the ‘pupsicle’

We love to make doggie ice lollies! There are some more elaborate recipes here, but you can also freeze their regular food. We use old plastic takeaway boxes. Start by layering wet food on the bottom, sprinkle over with kibble, add water and a lid, then pop in the freezer.

For cold treats without the extra calories, freeze their favourite toys in an old ice cream tubs – they’ll have fun and stay cool whilst freeing their toys from the ice!

Lab puppy looking up at camera

How do dogs regulate their body temperature?

Lots of people think that dogs can’t sweat, but this isn’t the case. Our canine friends have sweat glands in their noses and paw pads. Have you ever noticed your pet leaving behind a trail of damp pawprints? This is why! As the areas with glands are so small, dogs mainly keep themselves cool by panting. However, this isn’t the most effective mechanism to regulate your dogs’ body temperature, so it’s important to keep an eye on them. Taking the above tips into mind during the summer months will keep tails wagging and most importantly, can help to alleviate the threat of canine heat stroke.

Spaniel shaking off water

Heat stroke: The Danger

Heatstroke is one of the biggest dangers to dogs in summer. It can progress very quickly, and even if treated swiftly, can be fatal. It most typically occurs in three different situations:

  1. Your dog does too much exercise in warm weather – fun in the sun, playing fetch, walking, running, or playing with doggie friends.
  2. Your dog can’t cope with heat for a medical reason – some dogs overheat more than others, particularly overweight dogs, heavy-coated breeds, and short-nosed ‘brachycephalic’ breeds or mixes (that’s Pugs, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, and Boxers to name a few).
  3. Your dog is trapped in a hot environment such as a hot car, conservatory, or even just a warm, sunny room.

Heat stroke can kill or cause irreparable damage to internal organs, so it’s vital that you take it seriously and do all you can to prevent it. Here is our go-to list of signs which can warn you that your dog might be overheating.

How can I tell if my dog is too hot?

It depends whether we’re talking about a dog who is uncomfortably hot or suffering from heat stroke. It’s important to know the difference – and how to help in both cases.

Signs of a dog who’s too hot

Signs of heat stroke

Panting

Blue, bright red or dark red tongue and gums

Dribbling

High body temperature (104°F or 40°C or more)

Lethargic or restless

Wobbliness, weakness or staggering

Grumpy, grumbly or out of sorts

Seizures

Off their food

Collapsing or unconsciousness

Drinking lots of cool water

Blood in poos or urine

 

One way to really know if your dog is too hot (or not) is to use a thermometer and check. However, few of us feel confident taking our pets’ internal temperatures and here at Lintbells we believe that prevention is always the best approach. Keep our 10 top tips in mind in the summer months to avoid any risk to your pooch, and if you are worried about heat stroke, act fast and contact your nearest veterinary care centre.

Want more help on heatstroke in your dog or even dehydration in dogs?

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