Wednesday, 1 July 2015

How To: Keeping Your Dog Safe & Comfortable in Summer

Summer is here!! Or not, depending on where you live. And if your town is like mine you'll never know whether the next day is going to be rain or shine. As I write this it's dull outside and spitting but we've already had a few super sunny, awesomely warm days that definitely could be classed as summer, if not even 'abroad' style weather.
Anyways, my point here is that as much as we all love the sunshine and lapping up the heat, summertime can be a bit of a pain for our four legged friends. Below is a quick rundown on some of the main factors that you can change to make this time of year just that little bit more comfortable for the doggy pals.


When Out & About...
Taking a day trip in the car? Cool! Make sure while driving to crack a window (obviously not literally...), take regular stops for water and toilet breaks and when it's time to get out of the car take the furbabies with you!!!
Please, please, please don't risk leaving your dog in a car for even 5 minutes. The temperature in a parked car can sky rocket even if you leave the window open and park in the shade.
From brain damage to heat stroke dogs can end up truly suffering and if not you may still lose them if they are seized by the police.
[Read more on dogs in hot cars here]

Whether on a road trip or just out for a dog walk I'd always suggest to carry water but especially in summer. Even if we've only popped out for a 30min walk I like to pack a small bottle of water and a collapsible bowl, so that after playtime Baker can rehydrate and I don't need to worry about him overheating. (Because if you have a dog like mine, you know they would just run and play and run and play until they dropped!)

You know when it's super sunny and you walk outdoors with no shoes on but it's so hot that you have to run? Think about what it's like for your dog walking on paths and tarmac.
It's best to try and take your walks at cooler times of the day, so early morning and evening, though if you have a situation like mine where you have to avoid busy dog walking times that may be problematic. In that case, where possible, try to walk on the shaded side of the street or grass, avoid certain routes if the surface is a type that is likely to heat up and if you aren't sure always give it a test with your hand. If it feels even slightly too hot, don't risk burning puppy paws.



When Chilling at Home...
This is something that isn't too bad for me seeing as my monster is quite good at not eating stuff he isn't meant to, but if your dog likes to nibble on your greenery, for sure research what you should and shouldn't plant as some things could make them very poorly!!
[Here is a list of some and you'd be surprised that they are some popular ones on there!]

It should be common sense, but clean fresh water is an absolute necessity. Some dogs will just refuse to drink if a bowl of water has been sitting there too long but I think that if we like a nice cool drink in the summer, why would it be any different for your furchild?

Shade. What are parasols for when you're on holiday? Keeping cool and spending time in the shade so you don't die of heatstroke. I'm not even being melodramatic. If you left a dog in a space where they had no access to a cool and shaded area that could happen.
If your dog is awkward and likes to lay in a particular spot - bring the shade to them! In our house we like dog dens/forts (see photo).



In General...
Take shorter walks! The heat is tiring and so cutting your walk time down a little won't harm you or pup. Baker would usually run for about 20mins once at the park and with a 10-15min walk to and from the park it meant about a 45-50min exercise session. Now he'll only run with his ball for 5-10mins and is panting before we even get there.

Insect bites and stings. My goodness guys, this almost happened to us last week and I had a kitten! A gigantic bee flew into the house and of course I never let Baker near bees, not just for his safety but because we need bees ya know?! Anyways, he likes to chase flies and I assume with the buzzing noise he's just like, 'yeah lets get this fly man!' and he jumped for it...
I screamed, Jake woke up (he was on night shift...oops) and Baker pooped his pants. Thankfully I think he just knocked it and didn't actually catch it as it really could have stung him.
[Here is a great article to help you identify and treat the possible insect dangers.]

Doggy Sun Cream. It's a thing! Who knew?! I have to be completely honest - I didn't until this year.However, yes, our canine companions can be subject to the likes of sunburn and skin cancer too. Their protection comes in different forms like sprays, creams and wipes so if you expect to be exposed to Mr Sunshine a lot perhaps think about grabbing some.

Last but not least this point is more for fun than anything that is really needed. Baker and I like to have treats and toys that keep him cool so a paddling pool and fun water toys (like the ones we have; Kong Aqua and a Freeze 'N Chew) are always welcome. As well as these we love to make our own ice treats, you can see a 'How To' post here for some fun ice lollies (please be aware that they are only for when you are giving the animal your full attention, just like bones, to avoid choking etc) we made a few years back but watch this space as we have a fun new Mini Milk inspired treat how to coming soon! 






So yep - if you read all of this, congratulations, have 5 UtW points. Please do share your summer tips and things that you think others should be aware of for looking after a doggy in the heat. I really don't know how dogs manage in other countries so if you're from a constantly hot climate I'd love to know if these things apply all through the year etc etc. 
Also give this a share round anyone you know with dogs! Thankin' you :)



[Edit 30/06/15 - Okay so this post has been sitting as a completed draft for about a month now (26th of May to be exact - this photo was posted on my daily photo blog for the 11th taken for the already written post) as I wanted to wait until summer was in session before posting, BUT I just happened to be stalking a blog I love and came across a post she put up on the 14/06/15 that is very, spookily, similar to this. I was going to just scrap it and not put it up but it actually took quite a few hours to put together and I don't have another to fill it's place. I am writing this little 'disclaimer' type of deal to clarify that I 100% did not copy her post and if I had noticed sooner she had done it I would of just deleted this altogether. Great minds think alike I suppose and I apologise wholeheartedly if this bothers anyone. Please do pop over and check out Michelles awesome post here.]


18 comments:

  1. Awesome tips! Now that i have a puppy I can fully revel in your marvellous doggy tips posts :D Little Oscar is allowed out on a lead for the first time tomorrow and we're so excited :D Will definitely follow your tips about walks.

    hellomissjordan.com xx

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    1. Thank you! Yes, you now can make a little use out of these posts instead of just thinking, 'not another dog related post!' haha! Oh how exciting! I hope he got on well. I know it seemed like forever waiting for the day we could take Baker out.

      xo

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  2. I absolutely LOVE Bakers' fort!! I want one...a little bit just for me.
    I didn't know about doggy sun cream actually, off to find out more about that. But I did read just this week that if you can't hold your skin to the pavement for five seconds comfortably (i.e. without it burning) it's too hot for pooch paws.
    Such a brilliant post. there cannot ever be too many people spreading this message.
    M x
    M x

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    1. Haha thank you! Me too but I didn't get a look in...
      It's crazy eh? I had no idea until I started researching for this post. And yes! My Mam and Jake both told me they saw the same thing on Facebook. The other day we were out and where we had to go the pavement changed and was far too hot so I had to carry him...he isn't little :P

      Thank you Michelle, glad to be in such good company. :)

      xo

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  3. Super blog packed with some great advice and stunning photos of Baker. You and @MichelleOutsideLondon both take SUCH amazing photos :-)

    We also have a special offer with 30% off the Ruffwear Swamp Coolers at the moment saving £19 on RRP. We have stock here and are posting out orders for them immediately, so everyone please do whatever you possibly can to keep your dogs cool, and make sure you follow Underland To Wonderland!

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    1. Thank you so much!!
      Everyone make sure to pop by Barks and Bunnies, Baker's favorite store. :)

      xo

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  4. These tips are great; proud to say I do most of these things for my Frenchie pup, Pepper (it's super important for short-nosed dogs as they are more prone to over-heating!)

    Unfortunately Pepper is a 'green nibbler'....meaning she will eat any plant she sees Dx it's so annoying chasing after her and not being able to let her out of my sight ever, but at least I try my best to keep her safe...

    http://thecornishlife.co.uk

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    1. Thanks so much! Oh yes I can imagine as my cousin has a Pug and he pants so much even when it's not super hot!

      It's a huge coincidence but after putting this up what did Baker go and do yesterday? Eating a leaf and being sick! So now I'm like a headless chicken running around after him haha

      xo

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  5. This is a brilliant post Danielle - and great advice too. I always worried about my pets during hot weather so always took every precaution to keep them cool in the heat. Loved this post! - Tasha

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    1. Thank you Tasha :) I worried even more with the rabbits because drastic temperature change can make them super poorly. I had to do my little bit though because there are far too many animals dying or becoming ill because their owners just aren't educated enough. I don't mean that in a bad way either because we all started that way and I'm still learning with Baker.

      xo

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  6. I never understand people that don't think animals get hot. Pork Choppy is getting hot! His cage never gets into the sun and he still has his own fan and a cool block to sit on when he wakes up in the evening. It really makes a difference the heat, he was running for about 5 minutes at a time, now he'll only do about one and then he has to relax. It's hard during the day since I'm at work and he snuggles himself into bed, but he's been kicking the bedding out and drinking some more, so he must be a hardy hammy!

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    1. Exactly. Did you hear about the French couple driving to Spain for a wedding? They left their boxer puppy in the car for FOUR HOURS while they were in Ikea shopping for a wedding gift. I would never leave Baker in the car alone at all let alone for 4 hours in the heat. Idiots.
      I think people sometimes forget about the smaller pets though so good on you. Pork Chop seems to have an awesome little life. I miss having hammys so much but Jake won't let me get another.

      xo

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  7. Wonderful advice, I think sometime people forget dogs (and other pets) feel the heat too! My cocker spaniel is happier inside just now, she is preferring running around our garden than her usual longer walk.

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

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    1. Thank you! Yes, especially smaller pets like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters! Today Baker had his first proper walk in about 4 days as it's just been too hot and his paddling pool has been more appealing haha

      xo

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  8. I think a few of us did these types of post and you're right about great minds! ;) All important and interesting and people need reminding :) Mine got delayed in drafts a week or so as I got a sponsored post opportunity and Stella's vet bills demand I take those that are relevant! I love Baker's fort, I made a den in a little tent for Stella and I and she refused to come in there with me, she stropped back indoors but at least she wasn't in the sun! Daft dog xox

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    1. I know right?! It was so spooky that they all went up around the same time too because mine was the same - I'd had it completed and scheduled for ages before it went up.
      Oh I wish I had room for a tent, that would of been so much fun! As long as they stay cool it doesn't matter where they are though eh :)

      xo

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  9. Great post. Its funny how many dog owners do not have collapsible water bowls for their dogs and look at us with interest when we give Hugo water.common sense really.He won't drink the old scuzzy water that some places leave out for pets and who can blame him.We are always offering water to other peoples dogs who haven't brought water out with them...

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    1. Isn't it crazy. There's been the odd occasion where we've grabbed the water and forgotten his bowl so I cup my hands and he drinks out of there or he'll drink it out of the bottle! People always give strange looks - you'd think it was weird for dogs to need hydration haha.
      Yeah I'd never let Baker drink out of bowls that other dogs had, you never know what they have etc.

      xo

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