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The days are longer, the sun is out, temperatures are rising – Summer is here. Smudgers Mutts Dog Grooming in Cheltenham loves Summer days with our furry friends. But just as we look after ourselves in the heat and take precautions, we must not forget our dogs. They feel the heat, too. Here’s a quick guide to keeping your dog cool this Summer:

Know the Signs of Heatstroke and Exhaustion

Any dog can overheat. But particularly pay attention to your dog’s behaviour if it’s a puppy, older dog, long-haired dog or a short-nosed breed.

With a furry coat on all the time, your dog can quickly overheat. Some of the ways a dog can cool itself are by panting as well as sweating through the pads of their feet. However, on Summer days, the heat may overwhelm their natural cooling mechanisms. Look out for some of the signs that they’re struggling:

  • Heavy panting
  • Glassy eyes
  • Shaking
  • Drooling or foaming from mouth
  • Confusion and lack of balance
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures

Act fast if your dog is experiencing heatstroke symptoms. Move your dog to a cool location, keep them still, put them on a cool mat or wet towel, provide small amounts of water, and pour cool (not cold) water over their feet, head and ears. Seek advice from your vet.

Walk where there’s access to water
Water and Cold Treats

Always provide plenty of water for your dog. If you’re out on a walk, carry a bottle of water and bowl. Stop regularly to let your dog drink. At home, keep the water bowl topped up. Ice cubes can be a fun treat on their own or in the water bowl. Food like carrots or your dog’s favourite treats can be frozen for cool snacks on hot days. Food puzzle toys chilled in the fridge are also a great choice.

A paddling pool for some cool fun
To Walk, or Not to Walk?

…that is the question when it’s hot. If you feel the heat, so will your dog.

A dog never died from missing out on a walk

Most dogs can miss a walk now and then, especially on days the Met Office announces an extreme heat weather warning. What your dog can’t miss is stimulation. So when a walk is out of the question, spend time playing with your dog. Play hide and seek with their favourite toy, use a food puzzle toy, fill up the paddling pool and play with water. Keep them engaged with games and attention to replace the walk. Play don’t walk when it’s hot.

If you must walk go out in the early morning and late evening when the temperature is manageable. Also, be watchful for seasonal hazards like bee stings, adders and other snake bites and sharp grass seeds caught in your dog’s coat.

Dogs sweat through their paw pads

Book a Groom with Smudgers Mutts Dog Grooming

We’ll discuss together with you how to groom your dog for the Summer conditions. We recommend most dogs move to a Summer groom schedule of every 6 to 8 weeks to keep coats short. Some of the groom techniques we use to help your dog manage the heat include:

  • combing through the coat to clear tangled, matted sections restricting air flow
  • shaving close to the belly and back legs so your dog can feel the cool floor when they lay down
  • cutting the fur around their paws to help them release sweat
  • in the Grooming Studio, we open windows, turn on fans and reduce the use of the hairdryer to keep us and the dogs in our care cool

A Summer groom can help beat the heat!
Never Leave Your Dog in a Car

Our brilliant Smudger Mutts’ clients know this important tip but we’ll repeat it anyway. Never leave your dog alone in a hot car. A dog can die from heatstroke quickly in a car. Read more about this important issue from the RSPCA and join their campaign #DogsDieInHotCars

Keep Cool and Have Fun!

On the hottest days, keep your dog cool inside and out. Close the curtains to keep inside temperatures low during the day. Cool mats are available for your pooch to chill on. Provide plenty of drinking water. A small children’s paddling pool filled with water outside is also a good option for the hot days.

Summer is here. Stay safe and make the most of the bright, warm days with your dog. Book an appointment for your Summer Groom with us today!

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