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. Indeed, we may know our canine best friend (+walk-mate and cuddle buddy) better than anyone else, but it is crucial to acknowledge that most are not trained vets or nurses. 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. The clouds and sun can move very fast. Even if you want to quickly go to the shops, 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. During summer, you must provide your dog with more water than in winter. You can place extra bowls or buckets inside and outside to ensure your furry friend never runs out. 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 dogs, people and the environment, which is necessary for their behavioural development. Plus, you can strengthen your bond with your dog. 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. Stop to rest if your pet sits or lies down during the walk. And then consider continuing your walk when they are ready again. Stop walking if your dog seems too tired to continue.
Provide a cool, shady spot to relax in summer.
You don’t even need to walk your dog for them to overheat during summer. Dogs can get sunburn in your backyard, especially short-haired dogs and dogs with pink skin and white hair. You can even apply sunblock to its ears and nose for 20 minutes before going outside. Also consider giving your dog the option of being indoors to cool down. 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.
Don’t shave your pet in summer
Shaving doesn’t keep your dog cool. Your dog might have longer hair, and you think shaving your dog is a great way to keep it from overheating. However, a pet’s coat is naturally made to keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. Of course, it is OK to trip the fur (especially if it cannot see or is a poodle), but do not shave. Further, the guard hairs prevent your dog from getting sunburned. A better to cool off your pet is to take it to the groomer or bathe them.
What are your favourite tips for summer to keep your dogs comfortable?
- Guest Post by Frederike B.