In the UK, it’s rare for us to get more than a couple of days of very hot weather. This past week has been scorching, and the forecast is showing the weather will remain this way for a good while yet.

While I love the sunshine, I am always worried about sunburn – my brother had skin cancer so I have always been obsessive about sun cream for myself and the kids.

When you have dogs, it’s easy to forget they too can suffer adverse effects of too much sunshine. Our white Boxer, Monty loves to lie in the sun, but with his pink nose and white fur, this is a big no – no.

Look at his pink nose! So: MY top tips to keep them safe in the sun…..

Sun Cream

If your dog is dark skinned and has dense, dark fur, they may be ok without sun cream. If they have pale skin and inner ears (Like my boxers do) then they’d benefit from sun cream on their exposed bits. I always put a hypoallergenic, fragrance free factor 30 on Monty’s nose, ears, chops and belly. I make sure there’s no Zinc Oxide in the sun cream as that can be toxic if inhaled, and dogs love to lick! Boots Soltan sensitive cream ticks all the boxes!

Early Morning Walks

We’ve headed out long before most folk have tucked into their cornflakes most days this past week. Sam always has me up early, and usually I sort him out then doze in his bed for a few hours until it’s time to get up and start the day. Instead of that, I have been getting ready and taking the dogs out while Sam bounces on our bed – much to hubby’s dismay!

The dogs loved walking round Clifton Country Park this morning.- we had the place to ourselves!

A couple of days when I haven’t managed to get them out first thing, they have been really restless and been nuisances all day, so getting them out early makes all the difference! (They are both asleep now as I type this at 10am)! Walking them early means I don’t need to worry about their pads getting burnt or them getting too hot.

Extra Water Bowls

Hubby and I both work from home, so we are on hand to fill the dogs’ bowls up throughout the day. We’ve been doing it twice as much as usual, so if you are leaving your dog at home, make sure you leave an extra bowl of water out for them, and don’t be cross if they have an accident in your absence – at least you’ll know they aren’t dehydrated!

We’ve been making sure to take portable water bowls out on walks too, so the dogs don’t dehydrate while we are out and about.

Hair Cuts

If your dog needs regular haircuts, try to time them so your dog’s fur is as short as possible to help prevent them from overheating. If you’re  confident you could cut your dog’s hair yourself, check out Wiley Pup‘s blog post for some hints, tips and suggestions.

Shade and shelter

Our dogs are always in and out of the garden because we work from home. If your dogs spend a lot of time in the garden, make sure they have somewhere shady to get out of the sunshine. Our back garden is about 50% shade all day long, so our pups are lucky. When I have had to walk them slightly later in the morning, I have stuck to shaded woodland walks.

You have to be very careful when it comes to making sure the pavement isn’t too hot. If it’s uncomfortable for you to walk barefoot on, it’s too hot for your dog. I parked at our local woods at 8am, before the pavement got too hot, and we went for a walk around the shady woodlands over the weekend. The dogs loved running around in the shade. I still had to make sure they had plenty to drink though as it was already 21 degrees.

Car Time

Finally, never ever leave your dog in the car in warm weather. You may think you’re only going to be 2 minutes nipping in to grab some bread, and you’ve left the window open a bit, but it only takes a minute for them to overheat.

Follow these steps and your dog(s) will have a great summer!

Is there any other advice you’d like to share with UK dog owners? Rebecca at I always believed in futures has been talking about pet insurance – is your pet insured?

 

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