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Keeping your dog cool in summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune…
As every owner of a shaggy dog knows, whilst summer opens up our doors and lets in all those lovely vitamins, for our furry pals it represents a whole host of issues. Most importantly the paralysing fear of letting our dog overheat.
Only last summer, our neighbour’s beautiful little dog Frankie ran away on a hot day (not the really hot ones that made us all cry – like a rather temperate 26 degree one), returning only an hour later (after one hell of a play) suffering multiple organ failure… and died that evening. The news really upset us and for an already neurotic dog owner, it has made it my full-time summer mission to keep my own fur baby comfortable and hydrated. That’s all well and good…until you meet Edgar.
Edgar is a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier with very shaggy hair. He also hates the puppy parlour. We have tried to have him shorn on multiple occasions (and will continue to try) and have been called up to come and collect him. The furthest we ever got was a shave from a mobile groomer who gave our boy a kind of reverse Brazilian: after one strip off the butt, he mad-dogged so much she couldn’t keep him still to finish it off… you get the picture.
So, while you could judge and try offer unsolicited advice (we have a trainer helping and an appointment next week) you could also accept that we have learnt a huge amount about keeping a fluffer cool in the hotter weather. And while our situation isn’t ideal, it is not a one-off and many friends have since confessed they have had similar ordeals at the pup parlour.
These tips are to help. After trying and testing multiple products, we can tell you our top five products we use to keep Edgar cool in the summer.
Whilst products and buying things can help us, the absolute most important thing is to make sure that your pup always has access to shade and water. Even with this, things can still go wrong: one horror story about a beautiful French Bulldog called Bruno dying whilst lay in the shade only last week was shared to really help dog owners remember that hydration is absolutely key and on the hottest days, we are often better keeping them indoors. You should also never walk them on hotter days anyway… remember the saying about mad dogs and Englishmen? Enough said.
I should also protect myself and say, I am not a vet nor an “expert”, so whilst these tips have helped us with young Edgar, it’s always worth looking into it from a valid source, because hydrating or drenching your hot pet with water that is too cold can also have detrimental affects.
Whilst a strange suggestion, these are cheap and Edgar sits in this little cool bath very regularly. The water is slightly warm from the sun, so not a shock to the system – it is also great for an outdoor bath. The one in the photo was about £14 a few years ago (*here). This one is only a fiver though – *Click here.
I honestly reccommend this as he can relax quite happily in the shade in it. He is however a JRT, therefore, JRT sized. I wouldn’t reccommend it to my pal with three Newfies.
These are a little bit of a rip-off. I am not that sure many dogs even like them. Every time I get carried away and buy Edgar one, thinking I am some sort of dog influencer, most of it goes in the bin or to another dog owner. In fact, most day trips out at this time of year seem to include being offered one by another dispondent dog owner… for Edgar to then also turn his nose up. I should also add that Edgar ain’t fussy. This is a dog that eats pretty much everything and would chow down on a turd given half the chance.
My tip would be to make your own: banana and peanut butter icecubes for example – absolute winner and a few pence each! The custom-made ice-creams set you back a few quid and are apparently not all that… according to Edgar anyway (his little pal Mouse agrees and actually spat hers out!).
If you are feeling cute and want to make some, then this ice cube tray is designed specially for this purpose. *Click here.
Let’s face it! This is the exact same principle as the Kitty Litter tray, but with the added fun that I can sit in it with him! My niece spent a great amount of last summer sitting in this with Edgar so what’s not to love? They come in so many different sizes but this one seems pretty sturdy as is now in its third summer and still going strong. My friend’s lab absolutely adores hers too.
My only downside would be that Edgar struggles getting into it a bit. So sometimes he does need a little helping hand. Again, this is simply Edgar playing us. He does agility and is a great little jumper when he wants to be. He clearly just fancies that extra little cwtch. So, if your Dog simply stands next to it and looks at you with paws outstretched… you are to blame. This is not the fault of the paddling pool … it is the fault of the human (me) treating their dog like a tiny helpless ant.
I recommend this item to everyone! I initially got one from Pets at Home for about a fiver (four years ago), but needed to replace it (due to age, nothing sinisiter) so went for this one. It is a bit more money at £14.99 but has become invaluable when the heat crawls up. I pop this on Edgar (as the picture shows) and he wears it for as long as he needs. Sometimes it can be like a game of hoopla, throwing it to land on his back and stay on. He smoofles round wearing it all day and doesn’t overheat.
When he starts panting, this goes on and it works within a minute. I have bought one for my Aunty’s dog (a collie) and she also agrees with it’s instant relief. It is so good I got one for myself last summer. I slept with it over my feet when the temperature got silly and whilst it didn’t stop me panting as much as it does Edgar, it is one of my favourite summer must-haves.
It is easily the pet cooling towel. He can be in a proper pant and within seconds his breathing is fine and he is mooching round like a little show pony ready for dressage. It took ages to find the right cooling product due to him being quite particular (which dog isn’t?).
The cooling mat – wasn’t used and he didn’t get on it. My mate’s lab loves her one though. This is the one she uses: *Click here.
The cooling coat – was a source of all evil and he took it off. My neighbour however uses one on her Cavapoo and seems fine, so I included it anyway. *Click here.
The cooling bandana – did very little to cool him.
The towel, however, was the cheapest in the range and we recommend them to absolutely everyone. Absolute cool-dog summer game changer. So in true Hitchhiker’s Guide style, always know where your towel is. This is the exact one Edgar basically swears by. *Click here.