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How to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Summer Heat

How to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Summer Heat

| by Editor | Posted in Telford Pets

Our amazing community partner, Sharon from Sharon Kelly K9 Dog Training in Telford, is back with another instalment in her regular series of advice articles. Sharon has over two decades of experience in training and behaviour therapy for dogs of all shapes and sizes in the Telford area and beyond. 

As summer comes to town we need to consider how and when to exercise our dogs to keep them safe. During the summer, we often venture to new places, and while it is great to explore those holiday beaches, that new town or expansive countryside retreat, here are some tips to keep your furry friend safe so you can enjoy the summer together.

Remember that pavements and roads get very hot. Hold your palm to the tarmac for a count of five seconds, if it's uncomfortable to you, it is likely to burn your pooches paws – this could mean a trip to your vet and severe discomfort for your dog.

Remember that dogs can't sweat to cool down like we can, all they can do is pant, which has only minimal effect. Dogs can suffer heatstroke the same as humans. Try to walk earlier in the mornings (this could mean before 7am on a hot summer’s day) and later in the evenings (after 7pm) to avoid the main heat of the day. Keep walks shorter and work on some mental agility games with your dog instead. 

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity for any dog. It’s important to keep your dog mentally active, especially when you can’t take them for their normal run. 

Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, excessive drooling, lethargy, drowsiness, collapse and vomiting.

All dogs can be affected but heavy coated and short-nosed breeds can be more susceptible.

What to do if your dog shows signs of heatstroke:
Move to a shaded/cool place, place a wet towel or similar over them – water absorbs heat, remove, rewet and repeat. If the dog will drink small quantities of cool water, then encourage them to do so. If they do not respond, take them straight to the vet.

Dogs die in hot cars! Even with windows ajar and even when you’re parked in the shade, cars heat up really quickly. Even a few minutes can be enough to kill a dog.

To give you an idea:

Outside   In car 10mins  in car 30mins
 70 F               89 F                104 F
80F                 99 F                 114 F
And this is in the shade!

Please do not leave your dog alone in the car during the warmer weather, not even for a minute. If you can’t take them with you, or it’s too hot, then leave them at home where it’s cooler and safer. 

It's cooler under trees and with water to paddle in so choose these walks where possible. Take water for you and your pooch with you on every walk. 

There is nothing better than sharing your holiday with your dog. While you are out and about exploring new places, always remember the country-code.

1. Keep your dog under control at all times. Ensure they are on the lead where there is livestock and read signs. Farmers are within their rights to shoot dogs that worry livestock. Walks often include bridleways, so if your dog is off-lead keep your ears and eyes open and call them back if horses appear.

2. Some areas have restrictions at certain times of year as farmers move stock around and to allow birds to nest. Don't assume that just because you have been there before that things are the same. Read the signs.

3. Please clean up after your dog to ensure the countryside stays nice for everyone to enjoy.

4. In areas that you are able to let your dog off lead respect other people, dogs and property. Recall and control your dog as appropriate.

5. Leave things as you find them; if gates are shut leave them shut, if they are open leave them open. Take all your rubbish home.

6. Stick to designated paths. This maybe for yours and your dog's safety, it maybe to protect wildlife as well as for the landowner.

7. Don't allow your dog to run through crops, remember this is a farmer’s living.

8. Plan your walk, take drinks for you and your dog. Remember poo bags and maps if needed. Make sure your phone is charged in case you need it in an emergency. 

Get out and explore, have fun, stay safe, respect others and the environment. Enjoy summer with your dog, make the most of good weather, but remember your dog has a fur coat on.

Sharon runs regular dog training classes from puppies to the more advanced, as well as regular socialisation walks to help your dog stay social and make friends. For information on training and socialisation walks, get in touch with Sharon on 01952 596 865 or

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