1. Never leave dogs in hot cars
This is golden rule #1! The inside temperature of a car left in direct sunlight raises incredibly quickly, and dogs will soon dehydrate in hot cars. Always take your dog with you when you get out of the car, or leave someone with them who can open the windows and provide them with drinking water.
2. Provide shade
Just like humans, dogs can get sunburned. Providing access to plenty of shade gives your pet some respite from the sun, and somewhere cool to relax after running around.
3. Bring plenty of water
It’s always a good idea to bring a little more fresh water than you think you’ll need, just in case you go somewhere where there is limited access to fresh water. Remember; allowing your dog to drink from a river or the sea is not the same as giving them fresh water!
4. Try to avoid hot concrete and asphalt
Limit time spent on hot concrete or asphalt as much as possible – it can quickly burn your dog’s paws. Instead, spend more time on grass, cool sand or in the shade. Check your pet’s paws for discolouration, cuts or bruises regularly.
5. Groom regularly
Keeping your dog’s fur and nails trimmed during the summer is another easy thing you can do to stop them from overheating. Regular brushing will help them shed their winter coat, and keeping nails trimmed is a great way of preventing torn nails which can become infected.
6. Go to fireworks displays alone
Noise, crowds and flashing lights are all things that can cause your dog to become disorientated and stressed out. Leave them at home if you are heading out to fireworks displays this summer. If there is a display near your home, you’ll find more information on the RSPCA website here: http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/general/fireworks
7. Recognise heat stress
Signs of heat stress include heavy panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, excessive drooling, stupor, mild weakness or even collapse. If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, or if they appear to be behaving unusually, take a break in the shade with some cool water. If you can, use cool wet towels to help your dog cool off. If symptoms continue, call your vet as soon as possible.
8. Avoid fertilizers and garden treatments
Some fertilizers and garden treatments contain chemicals which can be harmful to pets, so if you’re currently preparing your lawn for the summer ask your vet for advice on which treatments are safe to use. You should always keep bottles of chemicals, fertilizers and other treatments out of reach of pets and children.
9. Cut down on the picnic hand-outs
Keeping human food for the humans keeps your dog from putting on excessive weight and keeps their stomach from getting upset.
10. Keep up with flea and tick treatments
Summertime means more time spent outdoors, and potentially more time spent in long grass or with other animals. It is crucial that you keep up with the routine of treatments recommended by your vet to keep your pet and home free from these pests.