And, quite frankly, none of us have had to look far in recent weeks, eh?
Donna Summer might be elusive around these parts but summer itself has certainly brought its fair share of hot stuff in recent weeks.
You won’t find mum complaining – yes, the humidity can be draining but she said it’s been lovely to walk me without wishing she’d worn something with sleeves.
Me? Not so fussed.
The hot weather is hard work for us dogs, and there’s no such thing as a simple dog walk – they have to be planned with almost military precision.
Set the alarm for stupid o’clock when it’s a tad cooler…keep putting the back of your hand on the pavement to see if you can keep it there for more than five seconds…hunt out the sea, lakes or streams…invest in a dog cooling coat…give up and decide it’s just too hot.
There have even been several days when mum hasn’t walked me at all – and you know something? I survived.
There are so many do’s and don’ts floating around too – is it safe to let your dog cool down in water? Should you give them ice cubes? Should you leave your dog in a hot car while you pop to the shop?
Just kidding on that last one – OF COURSE YOU SHOULDN’T LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A HOT CAR.
How many times do people have to be told? Some folk really are that thick, aren’t they?
You lock up your car for 20 minutes while you go shopping. What’s the first thing you do when you return? Clue: it’s not keep all the windows closed while you drive home, is it?!
No, you open them all immediately because it’s sweltering inside your car and the temperature is unbearable even for a few seconds.
Yet almost every day we’re hearing of moronic owners leaving their (allegedly) well-loved dogs inside cars with just a window or two cracked open a bit.
It’s next to useless ringing the RSPCA – they’re highly unlikely to have anyone nearby to assist. So you ring 999 and ask the police to help.
And where they can, they will – as they always do. But policing numbers have been slashed and there simply aren’t the officers to dispatch to every report of a dog left in a hot car.
Anyway…I digress a bit.
You can do your own research on t’internet as to what you should and shouldn’t do regarding dogs and the hot weather, but we found this useful – and short! – list from our local vet practice. Our additions are in italics.
- Always have fresh water available – mum has a bowl for me in the kitchen and in this hotter weather has one in the garden too. Surprisingly I often drink the garden one dry
- Give your dog a lukewarm shower or bath
- A paddling pool in the garden filled with cool but not ice cold water
- Use cooling mats, coats or bandanas – remember to make sure your cooling coat remains wet/damp when being worn. If you allow it to dry out then your dog is simply wearing a coat in hot weather. Mum takes an extra water bottle on walks specifically to re-wet my Ruffwear Swamp Cooler vest, or I head for a swim-swim in the Solent
- Stuff a Kong with treats or food, and freeze it
- Use fans and air conditioning
- Walk your dog when the Tarmac is cool (or avoid Tarmac altogether – makes for a much better walk, say I)
- Short walks only, even in the early morning or later at night
- Giving your dog an occasional ice cube is fine, but drinking copious amounts of ice cold water or giving your pooch an ice cold bath can be dangerous as it can cause shock.
What tips have your got for keeping your dogs cool in the heat?