Top tips to keep your dogs cool during the heatwave from Dorchester's Joey's Doggie Day Care

  Posted: 21.07.21 at 16:21 by Lottie Welch

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The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for extreme heat covering Dorchester.

So, we caught up with Tom at Joey’s Doggie Day Care to see if he had any tips on helping to keep your dogs cool during the heatwave.

Tom said: “It’s been incredibly hot this week and no doubt there will be more sun packed days on their way this summer.

“There’s quite a bit of misinformation about what you can and can’t do to help your dogs stay cool, so hopefully we can dispel some social media myths and help you feel confident while keeping your pup cool.”

Here are Joey’s Doggie Day Care’s top five tips:

Don’t risk it, stay at home and hide a biscuit

Dogs can overheat in temperatures as low as 20 degrees so imagine how uncomfortable 25 degrees plus must be for them.

In fact, 25 degrees is about the temperature when the risk factor for heat exhaustion goes up to eight out of 10. At this temperature it’s best to stay home and just hunt for treats indoors.

In the heat, think of doggy feet

The air temperature may not be too high, a great day for the beach you think! But there’s more to it than what’s on the surface, such as… the surface!

A thermo camera was recently used by Devon Search and Rescue to compare surface temperatures on a breezy 24 degree day. Shaded grass was 22 degrees and in the sun was 28, beach sand was nearly 46 and a concrete path was a whopping 55 - that’s hot enough to cook eggs.

Just pause for paws - lay your hand on a surface for at least 20 seconds to see if it’s pup friendly.

Ice ice baby

If you’ve read claims that ice cubes actually cause a dog’s temperature to rise by triggering their anterior hypothalamus - the part of the brain controlling temperature regulation - you’re not alone.

Sounds reasonable though doesn’t it? No one would use the word hypothalamus unless they had two pens in their shirt pocket and knew exactly what they were taking about, right?

Our survey says… Bzzzzz! Incorrect. Ice cubes are in fact an excellent way to help your dog stay cool. But hey, don’t take my word for it, a number of veterinary practices have weighed in with Vet Help Direct giving an excellent explanation and some useful advice on heat stroke. Click the link here to read more.

So, the vets and even the RSPCA agree, putting ice cubes in your dog’s bowl or making ice treats gets a big thumbs up. Just watch out they don’t crack a tooth chomping!

Cool kit

We may not have that many really hot days here in rainy blighty, but it’s worth investing in some reasonably inexpensive bits and bobs to keep your pup cool if it does get hot. Here’s the basic cool kit we’d suggest:

• An electric fan to help move air around the room
• A cool mat - these are available for as little as £10. Or if you don’t have a cool mat, a towel is almost as good, just dampened and allow them to lay on it or gently press it against their body
• Splash pool - try to get a hard plastic one if you can. The fold away fabric ones won’t last long with busy paws
• Ice cube tray - drop a small treat or two into each compartment before it freezes for a yummy snack on a hot day or simply pop them in their water bowl to keep nice and cool
• Garden sprinkler - a great way to keep those pups that don’t want to go into the pool cool. A sprinkler can allow them to control how wet they get and it’s great fun too

Do you take cream with your sun?

Did you know it’s actually recommended by a number of vets that sunscreen be applied to dogs before they venture out into the sun?

Their skin needs protection just like ours, particularly if they have short light-coloured coasts. The most sun sensitive areas are around the lips and nose, the groin area and their tummies.

Make sure you buy some dog friendly sun cream though, some contain para-aminobenzoic or zinc oxide which is toxic to our doggos.

Tom added: “So there you have it, hopefully that helps you feel a little more prepared to help your pups stay cool.

“Even if it’s just a warm day and not an extreme thermometer bursting heatwave like the one this week, always remember to carry water on your adventures. Seek out the shade where possible and only walk early mornings or late in the evenings when it is more comfortable.

“Stay safe, stay cool.”

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