It looks like Summer may finally be here (at least for this week anyway!). For many dog owners this means taking their dogs out and enjoying the beautiful countryside. Whilst there is plenty to enjoy it is also worth thinking of keeping your dog comfortable and healthy.
One particular concern that often gets overlooked is the effect of the heat on your dogs pads on their paws. Obviously dogs pads are thicker than the soles of our feet but nevertheless are very sensitive and if walked on hot tarmac or even hot sand can blister. If you wouldn’t walk on tarmac with bare feet than neither should your dog.
Over heating in dogs can also happen if a dog is over-exerted in hot temperatures or left in high temperatures such as hot car. Signs of heat stress in dogs may include heavy panting and possibly difficulty breathing, lethargy and possible vomiting. If your dog shows any of these signs it is important to get their body temperature cooler before your dog’s condition gets any more serious. Ways to do this if out walking are get to some shade, put them in a water trough or stream (if safe to do so). Offer them a drink of water. If you are at home you could get some cold, wet towels and cover them. Make sure you keep the towels wet and cold as they can re-heat again if they dry out! If in any doubt over your dogs health get them to the nearest vet.
As a team of dog walkers we try and avoid walking on tarmac or concrete on our walks in the hottest parts of the day, walking in shady areas nearer water sources. If at all possible we will walk dogs in the cooler parts of the day to reduce the risk of heat stress.
When travelling dogs by car, NEVER EVER leave a dog unaccompanied in a car in the summer months even if the window is open. Car’s can heat to dangerously high temperatures in a very short space of time. Check out our car temperature guide to show how scarily fast the temperatures in a vehicle can increase.