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Beat the Heat!

Dog Blogger Rikki tells us how to beat the heat!

So you think it’s been hot recently, well imagine having to wear a fur coat like me!

With the hot weather now here, it’s worth sparing a thought for your four-legged friend, so I’ve put together some tips that are helping me stay cool!

Make sure fresh, clean water is always available. I even take water with me when I go on a walk to ensure I stay properly hydrated.

Speaking of walks, I’ve changed my walking routine when it’s been hot outside. At the moment, I’ll only go out for walks during the cooler periods of the day (early mornings and evenings). During the rest of the day you’ll find me lying in the shade – perhaps I’ll have a snooze, write a bit of my blog or go chase the hosepipe while Mum tries to water the garden. It’s a hard life I know (#dogdays).

Pavements can get very hot during the day and can burn your dog’s paws – OUCH! When going out for walks, check the pavement temperature by placing the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it there for five seconds, it's too hot to walk your dog.

Never leave your dog in a car on a hot day. I don’t like travelling in the car at the best of times, never mind on a hot day. It can get unbearably hot in a car on a warm day, even when it’s not that sunny – in fact when it’s 22C outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47C within 60 minutes, which can lead to fatal heatstroke. Leaving a window open or a sunshield on your windscreen will not keep your car cool enough.

Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut can also help prevent overheating – many of my friends down the park are sporting rather fetching shorter crops and are much happier for it.

I am a young, healthy dog, but I’d say be extra vigilant with old, overweight or dogs with flat faces such as bulldogs and pugs as they can overheat quicker.

I have been speaking to the guys at Lowesmoor and they tell me that heatstroke and dehydration can occur rapidly in dogs. It isn't always easy to spot the signs of these problems until is too late, although the symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, acting confused, fast pulse and vomiting.

If you think your pet may be suffering from heatstroke, you must get your dog to a vet as quickly as possible. Give your dog water to drink and also pour cool water over them or use cold wet towels (however, do not use freezing cold water as this can be more harmful).

The key is to be mindful of how hot it can be for your dog – as you can see from the picture of me by the river, I’m not letting a bit of warm weather stop me from having fun!

Stay Cool!