While we frantically grab our shades and towels to go bask in the scorching sun, don’t forget your four-legged friend to make sure they remain safe under the rays.
Stuart Simons, FURminator’s expert groomer shares his top tips.
- Slap on the sun cream: While covering yourself in sun cream don’t forget to speak to your vet about sun cream for your pooch, especially if they have light skin pigment or short hair as this will make them more prone to sun burn. Pay special attention to the tips of their ears and the top of their nose.
- Look for shade: If your pet is fair haired they will be at a greater risk of getting sunburned so keep them in the shade where possible. If left alone outside, make sure your pooch has somewhere away from the sun sit down. Remember, the sun moves throughout the day so don’t leave them tied up with no option to cool down.
- Drink up: Take lots of water with you and a travel bowl so your canine can enjoy a nice drink when needed and refresh your supplies when you can.
- Keep walkies for the evening: Keep walks to a minimum during the hottest part of the day and avoid pavements. Dogs perspire through their foot pads so the longer they are standing on a hot floor, the less quickly they can cool down. Dogs also pant to try and cool themselves down. If you have a Brachycephalic breed, meaning that they have a broad head with a short muzzle, they tend to retain more heat as their cooling system isn’t as effective as dogs with a longer nose and so you should be extra careful when it comes to walking them in the heat.
- Pop them in the tub: Just like us, your pet will be sweatier from a day or two in the sun causing them to get a little whiffy, especially if they are a shorter haired breed.
- Know the signs: If your four-legged friend appears to be excessively panting, has particularly red eyes or gums, feels weak or collapses, use a cool wet towel or ice pack to bring their temperature down and seek veterinary advice immediately.
Know your coats – How to treat your pup depending on their fur:
Wool coats (Bichon, Poodle) – If your dog is fully coated make sure that they are brushed out and that the skin can breathe. A little sun cream on the nose won’t hurt but it must be pet safe and vet recommended. If your pooch’s coat is shaved off very short, check the skin pigment and apply doggy sunscreen if recommended by your vet.
Double coats (German Shepherds, Akita) – Make sure your four-legged friend has a regular grooming schedule as these dogs aren’t necessarily bred for a hot climate and may need help to drop their excess undercoat. A good rake and brush out will help them to release this undercoat.
Combination coat (Cocker Spaniels and Shih-Tzu’s) – Ensure your pooch is thoroughly brushed through and that their coat isn’t knotted or matted so that they can regulate their temperature properly.
Short coats (Pugs, Labradors and Boston Terriers) – Make sure that their undercoat is fully raked out using to help them stay cool in the heat.
Bald (Chinese Crested) – It is essential that a sun cream is used so seek veterinary advice before enjoying the sun to keep them safe and happy.