With average temperatures often exceeding 35 degrees, Australian summers are no joke. The heat can be challenging for us, but spare a thought for our dogs who have a reduced ability to sweat and keep themselves cool. To ensure your dog gets through the season as comfortably as possible, take a look at these summer prepping tips.
Give your dog’s coat some TLC
It’s natural to assume that clipping long coats for summer will take some of the heat off, but ADVANCE veterinarian, Dr Fiona Patterson, actually advises against it. “A dog’s coat is designed to help keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. [The] layers of [their] coat act like insulation,” she says. Instead of clipping, Dr Patterson says it’s important “to keep a dog’s coat brushed and free of tangles [to help] support a healthy skin and coat.” For added coat and skin support, opt for quality, Australian made dog food such as ADVANCE pet food that’s high in zinc and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, designed to meet the needs of dogs living in the unique Aussie climate.
Up their water intake
Access to fresh, clean water is important for your dog year-round. As the weather warms up, add some extra water stations around your property to ensure they’re always going to be well hydrated. Dr Patterson suggests topping the bowls up with ice cubes to keep them at a more palatable temperature. “Also, consider adding wet pet food to your dog’s diet as a way for them to gain additional dietary moisture,” she says. The ADVANCE pet food range includes wet food options in cans, pouches and trays, so dogs can enjoy a nourishing meal whatever the format. Dr Patterson says that feeding your dog both wet and dry food encourages a healthy body condition and supports urinary tract health.
Embrace the shade
As temperatures start to rise, it’s important to create places of refuge for your dog. “Ensure [that] there are lots of shady, cool spots in the garden for pets to seek respite from the heat, [or] bring the pets indoors,” says Dr Patterson. In addition, she recommends “walking in the cooler parts of the day such as the early morning or evening.”
Stock up on cooling products, or DIY some
To help keep your dog cool come summer, Dr Patterson says to “use air conditioners and fans indoors and draw curtains.” Dogs will naturally seek out cooler surfaces like tiles to lay on, but if carpet and floorboards dominate your home, you can purchase things like cooling mats, vests, and bandanas. Alternatively, DIY a cooling mat by wetting a towel and laying it on the floor. “Another idea is to fill a Kong dog toy with ADVANCE canned food, then freeze it. Offer it to your dog and they’ll be occupied for ages licking out the food - [it’s] great entertainment on a hot day”, says Dr Patterson.
Take a closer look at what your dog is eating
Overweight pets are at an increased risk of heatstroke. In the lead up to the summer months, Dr Patterson recommends keeping a closer eye on your pet’s body condition and meal portions. “Measure portion sizes – don’t estimate them – and adjust feeding amounts to maintain a healthy body condition,” she says. “ADVANCE Australian made pet food dry packs have a body condition guide on them. This five-point body condition scoring chart can help you assess if your dog is underweight, overweight, or ideal. If you monitor your dog’s body condition on an ongoing basis, you can always make slight adjustments to the amount of food fed. Also consider ADVANCE Healthy Weight products that have a reduced fat content to help restrict weight gain when fed as directed, but still taste great!” Prepping your dog for the summer months is as simple as providing them with plenty of shade, keeping them hydrated, and feeding them premium Australian made pet food designed for pets living in the unique Aussie climate. If you’re after more tailored advice for your pet, consult your trusted vet.
To learn more head to https://petfood.advancepet.com.au/pages/proudly-australian