Its going to be hot this summer – a time when our pets can suffer. Kaz Kelly from Doggy Day Care in West End provides tips for
keeping your dogs cool in the heat.
It is getting hot! Experts are suggesting it will be one of our hottest summers in recent history. Why am I telling you this? For the sake of our fur kids, of course.
Summer is my nail-biting time of year. I can’t help but see the scenes around me that involve dogs outside. What I see makes me cringe and extremely concerned for the fur kids in question.
A paid dog walker, in the middle of the day, walking down a path without shade. They have not tested the path or the road that they cross with the back of their hand (more on this later). I watch some more, and I don’t see them check the fur kid or offer them a short break on their walk for water.
A black, hairy beautiful pup being walked by their dad. Dad is on the phone. Dad is not paying attention, nor noticing the fact that his dog is clearly struggling with the heat. I don’t know how long they have been out, but I have now been watching them for 15 minutes, and still, Dad has not checked the path – hasn’t stopped to check on the fur kid or offer water, nor does he touch his dog to see how hot his fur is.
A parked car – dog inside. There is no more to say on this (well, there is, but that will come later).
Davies Park Market. Saturday morning. Lots of doggos for me to love on! I am hot, it’s sunny, lots of people, the bitumen is hot, and I can feel the heat radiating. I look at all these doggos, some I know. I stop buying my delicious goods and pop the back of my hand on the ground; I cannot keep it there for 5 seconds. I check the time and realise it’s still early, too early for it to be this hot. But, if it’s too hot for my hand, the doggos’ paws must be burning.
A short-nosed kidlet aka Frenchie or Pug, at the dog park. Mid arvo. Already a breed that has trouble doing a lot of running (they will tell you otherwise)! I sit down and watch some interactions (as you do when you are the local dog lady). The short-nosed kid is running like mad; mum thinks this is great. They were burning off that energy. I start to notice this pug slowing down, panting, drooling, but the inner wild child continues to take over and he just keeps going. This fur kid has been at the dog park for 30 minutes plus. Far too long for a short-nosed doggo in summer.
These are just a snippet of what I see, but they all lead us to some reminders for summer.
To start thinking about how we can adjust our social time with our fur kids, our training and walk times and when/if we go to a dog park. These stories aren’t about bad pawrents or being a neglectful parent; this is all of us; trust me, we all need a reminder.
There are many things to keep in mind, but the most important tips I can give you are:
- Check the ground and often. If you cannot hold the back of your hand to the ground, it is too hot for your fur kid to be walking.
- If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your fur kid. This is a good rule of thumb for any activity. Unfortunately, I find people forget this at the beach!
- Fur kids require shade and water regularly. More often than you do. Make sure they have access to both.
- If you have a short-nosed, older kid, fatter or dark-haired fur kid, plan for them. Taking them out to play or to the markets might not be in their best interest, no matter how much we want them with us.
- Do not leave a dog in a car. EVER. This is an offence as well as being incredibly cruel.
- Make sure you limit time at a dog park to 30 minutes and go early morning or late afternoon.
- Check your fur kid’s paws. I have witnessed burns and severe cracking just from the kid going to the markets on a Saturday.
- Use some common sense. Taking your dog out for a walk during your lunch break in summer probably isn’t wise.
- Keep your fur kid well-groomed.
- Have lots of cold enrichment, including ice blocks, frozen fruit and doggy ice cream! Follow our social media pages for enrichment ideas and pool party hacks!
If you are concerned about leaving your fur kid in the summer or know that there is no possibility of exercising them safely, why not try daycare? This can offer some sense of security and peace of mind.
More tips from the RSPCA for all pets – https://www.rspcaqld.org.au/what-we-do/provide-animal-care-advice/pet-tips-for-summer/chill-out
Cover image: Shutterstock