Summer Fun: Expert Tips to keep cool
It's gettin' hot in here! And we all want to make sure that we are looking after our g'oodles as the weather gets warmer. We've updated our summer tips as we head into 2024!
The Summer Cut
Oh, our gorgeous curly coated babies that are low maintenance (ha!). To shave or not to shave? Simple. Are you going to be able to maintain your dog's long fur during summer? Think swimming, beach, sand, no time for brushing cos I've been in Noosa for a week. No? Okay, shave it shorter! Are you going to stick to your brushing routine, rinse and use a detangling spray after beach or pool sessions? Great! You can leave it long and fluffy! Our oodle and poodle friends don’t have double coats, so they aren’t used for insulating the dog. In saying that, I’ve worked first hand with dogs who come back full of life after they have a clip, so keep in tune with how your dog feels when they are long Vs short and this might help you set them up for summer.
HOT TIP: At a bare minimum, get the paw pads trimmed nice and short. Dogs sweat through their paws to regulate their temperature. Keeping them nice and clear of hair will help them to do so and assist them with keeping cool.
Walk the Walk
Ever burnt your feet on the sand? Sucks, right?! Your dog's paw pads are no different. The sand is hot, the bitumen is hot and the pavers around your friend's pool - hot! If you can't put the back of your hand on the ground for 5 seconds, then walkies are going to have to wait till later. Early morning and twilight strolls are definitely your go-tos in summer.
In ya get!
Some enrichment or teaching your dog a new trick in the air-conditioning is preferred on hot days. We love "go-find" as a scent game or teach your dog a new cue or command. The possibilities are endless and this is just A-Grade bonding time that your dog is going to love love love. This is also where those shaved paws may come in handy. Less hair on the paws will mean less slipping on those tiles or floorboards when it's time for zoomies!
The Road Trip
Woo! We're going on a road trip! There are a variety of different car restraints you can buy and what is safest will come down to the size of your dog and how your dog behaves in the car. What's important though is to make sure it is properly and safely installed. If you are choosing to use a crate your dog should be able to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around with ease.
Of course, on the road trip, we're gonna stop at the bakery (cheese and veg pasty and a honey log, thanks). Take your dog out with you for a wander and a toilet stop. Never, ever leave your dog in a hot car. The temperature in a car rises rapidly and it can take less than 6 minutes for a dog to pass away from heatstroke. Taking your dog with you is always safest.
Slip Slop Slap
This applies to your dog as well! We need to make sure our dogs have access to shade and water at all times. Some dogs love sunbathing (my family dog Ruby would basically put Reef oil on and lie out by the pool for hours like a teenager). And although we could see she was fine and moved when she wanted to, she later developed skin cancers on her belly. Your dog is allowed to enjoy the outdoors and get some sun of course but it's up to us to give them a break from the sun if they are enjoying it a lil' too much. You can also buy rashies (cute) and doggy sun-screen to help with outdoor adventures. A top tip from us - don't forget the nose!
The signs of heat stroke
As responsible pet parents, we are going to do everything we can to avoid this but it's important to know the signs. You might also be able to help someone else out!
- Excessive panting & breathing distress, lethargy, restlessness or signs of confusion, excessive drooling, very red or very pale gums, tongue is bright red. More severe signs are vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, staggering, seizures, or collapsing.
Remove the dog from the hot environment and cool down or wet their surrounding environment, spray them with cool water and apply a fan. Don't use ice or icy water to cool the dog this will cause the dog to overheat and unfortunately worsen the situation. Do these things and get the dog to the vet as soon as possible, heat stroke is always a vet visit.
We love taking our g'oodles to the beach, and they love it too! Besides that hot sand here are a few things to keep an eye out for. Whether your dog is on lead or off lead they can stumble across, dead fish, fishing lines and hooks, jellyfish and blue ringed octopus. All of these can be found on the sand, floating in the water and in rock pools. Keep in tune with how your dog is feeling during or after a visit to the beach.