Heavy Coated Dogs (also known as double coated) need a little more help in the summer time. Dogs such as Aussies, Collies, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Malamutes, Sheep dogs, Pomeranians and most herding dogs and terriers will benefit from these summer tips:
1. Help your dog shed their coat
Dogs naturally shed in the summertime. However, a good brushing tool will help reduce the amount of fuzzy hair within their undercoat, which will help regulate temperature and reduce heat insulation.
2. Pamper and groom your dog with regular haircuts
Regular grooming that includes shampoo and hair trimming, is beneficial in maintaining a healthy coat especially to help eradicate matted or knotted fur. Never shave a double coat and always use professional services for heavy-coated dogs.
3. Dips in the water help cool your dog down
Dogs love their pools, rivers, lakes and even puddles! Taking them to parks that have water features, allows them to exercise, cool down and release the extra heat more efficiently in water. But do be mindful of deeper rivers and streams and other wildlife, as ducks and geese can be extra protective of their young at this time of year
4. Water water and more water!
This goes without saying; It is the most important tip to help keep dogs well hydrated and cool in a warm climate. Interestingly, dogs have limited sweat glands compared to us humans. These are found on fur-free skin such as their nose and paw pads so they need extra help to cool down.
5. Keep a fan running indoors
When being indoors, heat can collect in certain areas making it much more uncomfortable for your pets as their coats are too heavy to expel heat. Your pets will usually try to find the coolest area of the house. You can help by opening windows and doors to let fresh air in. If the breeze is warm and not allowing your pets to cool down, then provide a fan that provides an extra breeze and turn on the air conditioning, if you have access to this.
6. Enable shade outdoors in the garden
Ensure that there are sufficient shaded areas within your garden so that your pets can easily enjoy the summer and not overheat. When your dog shows any signs of excessive panting with their tongue out, especially when there has been little or no exertion; this is a clear sign that your dog needs extra help in cooling down.
7. Give your dog frozen foods
Ice pops, frozen yoghurts, iced cold water or drinks can be the best treat this time of year! Your pets need extra water and if it’s ice cold, this is brilliant to compensate for the overuse of sweat glands in the summer heat.
8. Cold towels and blankets
Dogs with a double coat or heavy coat will usually have the extra heat contained within their fur. To help eradicate the extra heat, a frozen mat would feel like heaven for your dog to lie on top of! There are products available, which provide ice-cold temperatures for long periods of time. Alternatively, a quick fix would be putting in towels and blankets into the freezer or providing ice packs and packs of frozen peas where they need it the most.