Be Sun Smart
Perth is heading for a scorching summer, with warm weather and high UV levels expected in WA. If you're not relaxing in your air conditioned lounge or a pool, hot weather can make you feel uncomfortable and even dizzy. Your furry best friend is, you know it, no exception.
That's why we've put together our top 5 summer safety tips to make sure your dog is safe & happy throughout this hot Aussie summer.
Don't leave your dog in a hot car.
Every responsible dog owner knows that dogs should not be kept in hot cars. Nevertheless, figures by the RSPCA reveal that more than 500 dogs were left in hot cars in WA alone. Reports of trapped dogs in cars are too frequent; related deaths are simple to avoid. Vehicles in the sun get hot despite having the windows down. Even if you only want to go to the shops quickly, leave your dog at home and offer them a cool spot in the shade. Vehicles heat up quickly and retain heat. Predominantly red, blue and black cars trap the heat very quickly, which is why even short moments in the car can be life-threatening to your dog. Did you know? Leaving an animal without appropriate water and shelter is an offence under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001. So: Be summer smart and don't leave your dog in a hot car.
Keep your dog hydrated this summer.
Always make sure your dog has plenty of water. Especially during summer, dogs need to drink more to stay hydrated. You can place extra water bowls around the house to ensure your furry friend never runs out of water. Dogs are incredibly thirsty after a walk, but in summer, it may even be necessary to take a water bottle and a bowl with you on your walk. If your dog gets thirsty during the walk, it is better to be prepared than not. It is vital for humans and dogs alike to drink heaps of water because it helps your dog stay cool and hydrated.
Do not exercise in mid sun
Exercising your dog is perfect for your pups' physical and mental health. Dogs need exercise regularly. It helps them socialise with their environment, which is necessary for their behavioural development. Plus, you can strengthen your bond with your dog through training and simply spending time together. How good is that!
But, before your exercise, make sure you check the temperature outside. Walking your dog between 11:00 – 3:00 pm can be harmful to your dog. On some days even earlier! Just like humans, dogs can overheat. Hot pavement can even burn your fur babies feet. That's why we recommend sticking to early morning and evening walks during summer. Consider taking your dog to the beach on a hot morning or evening, so they can cool down in the water if they get too hot. Stop to rest if your pet sits or lies down during the walk to give them a short break or consider keeping your walk shorter if you notice that they would rather rest. Stop walking if your dog seems too tired to continue.
Provide a cool, shady spot to relax in summer.
Dogs don't need walks on hot days at all. There are many ways to enrich your dogs during a hot day that doesn't involve taking them outside in the heat. Consider giving your dog the option of being indoors to cool down or provide a cool shady spot in your garden with frozen treats and cold water. Watch out for signs of fatigue, such as panting, or other symptoms of overheating, such as drooling, vomiting and confusion. Move them to a more relaxed space immediately and take them to the nearest vet if necessary.
5. Apply Sunscreen
Dogs can get sunburns too! Especially those with light fair skin and coats that aren't as thick. Their bellies, noses and ears are the most vulnerable and you can apply sunscreen that is specifically made for dogs to help protect their skin during the Australian summer. Ask your local vet or pet shop for recommendations on the right product for your dog(s).
What are your favourite tips for summer to keep your dogs comfortable?
- Guest Post by Frederike B.