It’s heating up in Melbourne and we’ve noticed those tongues are starting to pant significantly earlier on our walks than usual…!
We’re so excited for some warmer weather after a seemingly looong Winter, but at this time of year we’re always reminded to think of the effect hot conditions have on our dogs. We’ve just reminded all of our clients about our Hot Weather Policy, which is in place to keep dogs safe during Summer – canine safety is serious business for us!
We’ve had a couple of clients asking about the best ways to keep their dogs cool on hot days and we’re not short on clever ideas… we thought we’d share them here for you all to enjoy!
1. More Water Than You Think
We always recommend our clients leave at least TWO separate water bowls (preferably buckets) in opposite parts of the house/yard, refilled with fresh water on a daily basis. This means your dog still has drinking water if one bowl is knocked over, or hot from sitting in the sun.
2. Grooming Upkeep
Grooming is most important in Summer for keeping dogs’ body temperatures at an optimal level. Most curly-coated breeds will need a clip at the grooming salon, but for straight-coated dogs (e.g. Labradors) this means a really thorough wash/blow-dry (if tolerable) and a regular brush with a deshedder. If in doubt about your dog’s coat, consult a Vet or groomer particularly when it comes to giving your dog a haircut – sometimes shaving is not the best option for a long-haired dog!
3. Creature Comforts
Around the home, give your dog the opportunity to lay on the cool tiles or floorboards instead of the carpet – if it’s quite warm, you might even leave the air conditioning on for them (our electricity bills are astronomical during Summer and we wouldn’t have it any other way!). A paddle pool in the backyard is often a popular choice! If your dog lives outside, make sure he/she has shade – not just a kennel, but a tree / umbrella / veranda / marquee etc. that casts shade from above and allows for plenty of ventilation. And if your dog is a food-lover, why not try making them some frozen treats! Side note – if ever taking your for a drive, make sure the car has cooled down before getting them in.
4. Change Up Your Routine
On a really hot day, instead of your regular afternoon run at the park, it might be best to change up the time, length, and even style of your walk. Early to mid-mornings, and late evenings, tend to be preferable – with the aim to avoid the hottest part of the day, often around 3pm. Steer clear of bitumen / pavement / sand that has been baking in the sun, and if in doubt, place the back of your hand to the ground - if you can’t hold it there for 5 seconds, it’s too hot to walk on. Tone down the physical exercise and ramp up the mental exercise – some training / games in the shade can be equally as satisfying as a big run! Read your dog’s body language – they may want to go home earlier than normal. If you live near the beach, an early/late swim in the ocean is great, but just be sure to keep up your parasite treatment (particularly ticks) and be mindful of other ‘friendlies’ in the brush. And if you’re not beachside – a sprinkler in the backyard will be just as much fun (ahh, just like when we were kids in the good old days!).
We hope these tips help you and your dog have a fun and safe Melbourne Summer... ours is going to be off the hook, we can't wait! If your dog wants to join the party, just send us an email!
Happy walking :)