Don't let the heatwave ruin your dog's day!
With the UK’s heatwave set to continue into the weekend and beyond, you’d be forgiven for getting a bit fed up as temperatures reach record highs yet again. But it’s not just humans who are affected by the heat, as dogs can become increasingly bored and frustrated in warm weather too.
When walkies aren’t an option, due to the risks that come with rising temperatures*, dogs can become frustrated with all the pent-up energy they would normally burn off during playtime. To help dogs and owners we've got some top tips for helping your dog have fun safely this summer.
Our top tips
- Mental exercise can be just as tiring as physical exercise, so doing some fun brain training will help prevent your dog getting bored and restless. Tricks like teaching your dog to touch your hand with their nose, and even hold it there, or teaching your dog to focus their attention fully on you are great ways to keep your dog occupied.
- Playing indoors can be a great alternative to outdoor fun. Just make sure you are always there, it isn’t too high intensity and take regular breaks to ensure your dog keeps cool! How about hiding toys and getting dogs to search for them?
- Make the most of feeding time and include some indoor foraging opportunities for your four-legged friend that uses their brains rather than their bodies. You could lay out treat trails around the house for them to find, use puzzle-feeders or get creative and make your own food games!
- When you’re recycling keep anything that is safe for your dog to use as part of a fun food game – think kibble hidden within scrunched up newspaper inside cardboard boxes, or empty plastic bottles (lids removed!) with kibble inside. Remember to supervise in case your dog needs help!
- Paddling pools in gardens can be fun but need to be introduced carefully and ensure you are there to keep an eye on any mischief! Plastic ones that aren’t too deep are best as they shouldn’t burst. Place in the shade if you have the option, and encourage your dog to paddle with some extra tasty treats if they like it!
Tamsin Durston, Canine Behaviour Officer explains,
“Having fun with your dog is one of the biggest and most important parts of dog ownership – so why should a little bit of sun spoil all the fun? Enrichment is a key part of ensuring our dogs are stimulated and happy, but in warm weather it can be tricky to do this safely. Our top tips will help dogs and owners have fun together safely, whilst keeping cool.
“It’s important to remember that dogs won’t necessarily know if they are overheating and might continue to play and dash about in hot temperatures, because they might have such a strong desire to play. So just because a dog is chasing a ball and bringing it back, this doesn’t mean their body is physically coping with this activity, and they might be likely to overheat. It’s up to owners to regulate playtime and call time if it gets a bit too energetic! Help your dog to cool down by giving them a tasty watermelon slice in moderation, making sure they have plenty of shade, and by putting fresh wet towels on the floor for them to lie down on.”