With the heatwave showing no signs of stopping, you’re probably a bit concerned about the impact it’s having on your pets.

It’s not just heatstroke that poses a problem to our four-legged friends, but a lack of walks due to the weather could also be making them bored and frustrated.

To help owners out, Dogs Trust has created a video to show you how you can still have fun with your dog this summer.

Mental exercise

You don’t have to go outside to burn off all that excess energy. 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!

Indoor play

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 your dogs to search for them?

Feeding time

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!

Recycling

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

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!

Dawn Bishop, Dogs Trust Manchester Rehoming Centre Manager, 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.”

Dogs Trust Tips for caring for your dog in the heatwave

  • Don’t excessively walk your dog

  • Avoid walking your dog at the hottest times of the day – often morning or later in the evenings can be cooler

  • Always take plenty of water with you when out with your dog

  • Make sure the dog has shade to cool off in, either inside or when out

  • Take your dog to the groomers and keep their fur clipped 

  • Dogs can get sun burned – especially white dogs or those with little hair so try and keep them out of direct sun

  • Think twice about any car trips with your dog – avoid congested roads or busy times of day when they could overheat in the car if you are caught up in traffic

  • If driving with your dog plan your journey considering cooler times of the day and places to take breaks

  • Don’t leave your dog in a car – as temperatures rise, dogs overheat quickly and leaving them for as little as 20 minutes could prove fatal 

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