It’s summertime (in the Northern Hemisphere) with longer days, meaning that we can spend more time enjoying the nice weather with our puppies or dogs.
For Dogs Who Love Water
If you are spending time in the garden, make sure you provide shade and water. If your dog or puppy enjoys a paddle, then you can provide a paddling pool for your pup to play in and you can buy toys that float. Be careful with your dog or puppy around your sprinkler and limit the use or buy a dog friendly one as your dog can inhale water and depending on their breed a sprinkler could encourage stalking or chase behavior. You can buy special doggie bubbles or a dog bubble machine which could be a fun alternative to a sprinkler. Avoid your dog being in the garden in the hottest part of the day.
Be Careful of Hot Pavement and Hot Cars
Walk your dog or puppy when it is cool in the morning or evening and avoid walking them in the hottest part of the day. Be careful when walking puppies, older dogs or brachycephalic (flat-nosed) dog breeds and do short walks at their pace.
Before walking your dog do the pavement test, if it is too hot for the back of your hand it is too hot for your puppy or dog to walk on. Hot pavements can burn paws.
Summer is a time for fun on the beach, fun dog shows and dog activity days. If you go out and about with your dog make sure you take plenty of water and a dog first aid kit. If you think your dog or puppy may be worried or stressed by this type of environment, then don’t take them and never leave your dog in a hot car as they can die.
Help Your Dog Stay Cool
There are many ways to help your dog or puppy stay cool including dog cool bandanas and cool coats as well as cool mats (supervise with puppies or dogs that like to chew as some mats contain gel). You can make your own cool treats; look in dog cookbooks or search online for safe dog recipes. You can even buy doggie ice cream.
More cool tips:
- For light nosed and hairless dogs you can get doggie sunscreen.
- Do not shave double coated breeds as their coat provides its own sun protection. Either groom out the undercoat yourself or take them to a professional groomer.
- Do not play fetch for too long; try hiding the ball instead.
- Have fun in the sun and stay safe with your dog!
About the Author
Caroline Ward is a UK based dog trainer and managing director of her own business FITdogs Club, which was born in 2016. She has gained her IABTC instructor and IABTC Clicker and target (levels 1-3). Caroline attended several workshops in puppy training, life skills and cognition, including the Dog’s Mind and Social Learning in Puppies with Claudia Fugazza (2019) and most recently Chirag Patel’s online puppy training workshop (2023).
Caroline is a committee member of the Pet Professional Guild (canine division). She loves helping puppies and dogs create a bond through play, fun and training, with a special interest in canine cognition and how dogs feel, which is something she would like to develop in the future.