Yes, with deep disappointment I’ve to admit that summer [in the UAE] might be knocking our doors. Its weird how each day seems to be different from the other. Some days its really warm while on other days we are greeted by cool, soothing breeze on our walks. But what I know for sure is our dogs are certainly starting to feel the heat. So, our annual ‘how to get your dogs summer ready’ article is right here for you. Today we will talk about 5 tips to get your dogs summer ready.
Walkie time must be adjusted
Throughout winter, we had the flexibility to walk our dogs at different times during the day – mid-morning, even midday sometimes, early evening and so on. And boy our beagle, Mr. Popo used to go for 4-kilometre long walks each time. But now, as the weather is getting warmer the best time to walk our dogs is either early in the morning and only after sundown. As of now, 7AM is good for a decently long morning walk, which will have to be earlier as harsher summer days set in. In the evening, post 6:15PM is good so far but might have to be pushed to 6:45PM as it becomes warmer. Overall gone are the days of long walks; as the heat increases, shorter but multiple walks are advisable.
Keep your dogs hydrated
Clean drinking water is vital for dogs, all-year round, but especially so during summer. Besides cleaning and refilling the water bowls from time-to-time during the day, think about carrying a small water bottle while stepping out for walks. If your dog heats up, it is advisable to find a shaded area and let them have a cool drink. Doggie water bottles aren’t too expensive, with prices starting at AED20.
Also read: Five healthy meal toppers for dogs
A cooling vest is a good option
From our personal experience we can say that a cooling vest has been a great option, especially since our dog doesn’t believe in short walks. For him, short walk must be 30-minute long! So, before stepping out for a walk, you can dampen the vest or collar and then put it on your dog. It really helps to keep them cool, and it is not too expensive (approximately AED75 for the vest). One cooling vest can be used for a couple of seasons based on the quality of the product. Cooling mats are also available, but a DIY (do-it-yourself) hack is to use cool towels and ice cubes.
A cool summer trim is a good idea
If you have a dog, you will know the importance of grooming. It is just like us humans bathing and brushing our teeth every day. Especially during summer, a cool trim might be good for dogs with long coat, curly coat and wire-haired. Along with the coat, look after their paws too as heat can cause irritation. Just this morning I had a scare as Popo started limping because something irritated his left paw. Later we realised it might have been the consequence of kicking up a dust storm. [Dogs will be dogs]. Back to the point, think about investing in a safe, dog-friendly sunscreen. Sunscreen is essential for breeds such as Mexican Hairless, Chinese Crested and American Hairless Terrier, among others. These dogs run the risk of getting sunburnt, just like humans would if we didn’t wear our protective layer of sunscreen. Caution: Do not even think of using your sunscreen on your dog.
You could consider day care + swimming sessions
Since the days to have fun outdoors seem to be running out as summer hits safe, clean and indoor doggie day care is an option worth exploring. Dogs get to play and exercise, but in a temperature-controlled, well-monitored environment. Several doggie day cares also have swimming pools for dogs to splash around. For dogs that love water, this is a great option. Of course, bear in mind the day care charges, usually starting at AED10 per hour and often more to use the pool. Another option is to buy a paddle pool (prices starting AED60) and let your pooches have fun at home.
Now that we’ve shared our 5 tips to get your dogs summer ready, let us know if you have more tips.
Some things to watch out for
Besides the above tips, always watch out for any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms such as excessive panting, drooling, prolonged diarrhoea, listlessness and lack of appetite, among others. If you notice any of these symptoms, the best option is to go for a vet check-up. One last word – please do not leave your dog in the car or outside a supermarket as they will heat up quickly.
Note: This article is meant for information and awareness only and should not be considered as expert/medical/dietary opinion.