Summer care tips for your four-legged friend in latest pets column
Column by Grantham dog walker Sara Barnes
With the warm weather on its way (fingers crossed) it’s important to remember that when the weather gets warmer the way we exercise our dogs and their needs need to be tweaked.
As with us humans, in warmer weather your dog will more than likely drink more, so checking their water bottle is topped up more often is important. Alternatively, putting down a larger bowl is a good idea if you are going out without them. Also consider putting a bowl outside, and make sure you have a bowl in the car along with fresh water if you are going out anywhere.
Depending on your dog’s breed, age and physicality, and the outdoor temperature, consider reducing frequency and duration of walks. There are reference charts available from organisations such as the RSPCA and Blue Cross giving a guide to when it’s safe to walk your dog.
Remember, dogs don’t have sweat glands like us humans, so they pant to cool down, and it’s not as effective a way to cool down as sweating. If you think your dog is overly warm think about using a cooling mat or coat to help them cool down.
If you don’t have these then a towel soaked in cool (not cold) water can help. You can also buy many cooling products, including bandanas, for your dog.
If you walk your dog on paths and roads then before you walk your dog outside place your hand palm down on the path in the sunshine and keep it there for a minimum of five seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
If you have a fine/short coated dog or dog with very light covering on their ears make sure you apply a pet-friendly sunscreen.
You might be tempted to shave your dog’s coat, but actually their coats are designed to keep your dog cool in summer and warm in winter, so shaving is not the best idea, but giving it a trim is not a problem.