Holidays & Hot Dogs – keep your dog healthy and hydrated this summer
Hot sunny weather is something most of us look forward to. Make sure your dog looks forward to it too by keeping them healthy and hydrated!
A British Veterinary Association survey in 2019 revealed that almost two-thirds of vets (64%) reported treating animals being affected by heat-related conditions during the summer of 2018 (There are no figures for 2019 due to a change in system.).
Half of the vets had treated animals for heat stroke (51%) while more than one in three (36%) had seen animals requiring treatment for other conditions relating to hot weather, like breathing difficulties, heart conditions, burnt paw pads and sunburn.
It’s important for all dogs to keep cool but there are a few groups of dogs that are particularly at risk and need to be watched really carefully in hot weather:
Dogs to really watch in hot weather:
- Flat faced or brachycephalic dogs such as pugs, bulldogs and Pekinese often have breathing difficulties which is exacerbated by hot weather
- Dogs with thicker coats such as German Shepherds, Huskies or Chow Chows. Ideally, they need a groom in the summer to thin out their coats
- Bigger dogs such as St Bernards
- Older dogs
- Overweight dogs
Here are a few hints and tips for all dogs:
- Keep dogs cool
- How to hydrate your dog
- Don’t leave your dog unattended in cars
- Walk your dog in the morning or the evening
- Some simple steps that will make a difference
1) Keep Dogs Cool
Remember to keep dogs in a cool spot. If it’s a hot day, look for a shady spot or leave them in a cool and ventilated room.
A dog is unlikely to tell you that they’re overheating. If you notice that they are panting heavily (a dog’s way of cooling down), move them immediately to a cooler spot with plenty of water.
If they’ve lost interest in water, try them with Slurps super tasty and nutritious drinks for dogs in beef and chicken flavours with high omega 3 fish oils.
Slurps nutritious drinks for dogs are lapped up by 95% of dogs whilst ignoring their water bowls so there’s a good chance your dog will be persuaded to drink. Just check out our testimonials.
2) How to Hydrate your Dog
If a dog is cooling itself down by panting, it’s also losing a lot of fluid through evaporation from the tongue.
On a normal day, dogs should have 50ml per kg bodyweight daily. For an average Labrador that would mean about 3 x 500ml bowls of water on a normal day.
On a hot day, or a very active day, this increases to 75ml per kg bodyweight daily. That’s 1.5 bowls (0.75l) for a 10kg dog, 4.5 bowls (2.25l) for a 30kg dog like a Labrador and a massive 6 bowls for a 40kg dog.
In Slurps research we’ve found that two out of three dogs don’t drink the vet recommended amount. On a hot day, be careful as dogs will struggle to replace the fluid they have lost through panting and can start to dehydrate.
If you’re concerned that your dog isn’t drinking enough, Slurps nutritious drinks for dogs are lapped up by 95% of dogs whilst ignoring their water bowls so even if they’re tired of water, you can still keep them healthy and hydrated.
Slurps are super tasty, low in calories and come in beef and chicken flavours. They’re made from organic ingredients with high omega 3 fish oils and come in 250ml re-closable ready to drink pouches.
3) Don’t leave your dog unattended in cars
Everyone knows that dogs die in hot cars. Leaving the car windows open with a bowl of water is not sufficient as even on a cloudy day the temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly reach over double those felt outside. Don’t leave your dog unattended in a car (like the one in this photo)
Even if you are with your dog in the car, they can still overheat.
- Use air conditioning to keep the car cool
- Provide plenty of water in the car or during stops
- Stop regularly to take dogs for short walks in the shade.
Make use of motorway services as many now have dog walking areas. If your dog won’t drink on command or doesn’t like drinking from a travel bowl or outside the house, some Slurps will do the trick and keep them healthy and hydrated.
4) Walk your dog in the morning or the evening
There’s a lot of truth to the saying ‘mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
Lots of exercise will generate heat inside the dog’s body and combined with the heat from the sun, will increase a dog’s core temperature.
Affected dogs will flop around and might even collapse; the most susceptible dogs being those that are obese, older dogs, dogs with breathing issues or dogs with long and/or dark coats.
Avoid long walks in the sun. Any summer walk should be accompanied by plenty of water stops and if your dog isn’t keen on drinking outside the house, Slurps will often stimulate them into taking fluid.
5) Some simple steps that will make a difference
Sometimes it’s important to remember the basics.
- Trimming a dog’s coat will always help long haired dogs.
- Watch out for hot pavement or road surfaces. If you can’t put your hand on the ground for 5 seconds without it burning then it’s probably going to burn your dog’s paws.
- If you’re feeling hot, your dog will be feeling a lot hotter so get them to a cool place asap
Don’t let the summer sunshine and heat spoil your summer: keep your dog healthy and hydrated at all times.