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Common water mistake dog owners always make when it’s hot outside

Whilst we all enjoy warm weather, the heat can be dangerous to our beloved pooches and cause dehydration, sunburn and heatstroke.

As temperatures rise to 28C in the UK, Anna Bain, a leading canine expert from ProDog Raw, shares the most common mistakes dog owners make during the summer.

Anna told The Mirror: “Our dogs’ needs are complex and the vast majority of owners make a number of extremely common mistakes without even realising.”

Here are eight ways you could be going wrong:

Most dogs love swimming and spending time in the water helps them stay cool and refreshed.

But you shouldn’t be letting your dog swim anywhere they want – some waters are home to risks that you ought to avoid.

Some expanses of water can contain harmful parasites and bacteria, whilst chlorine in swimming pools can irritate dogs’ skin and eyes.

Worry not, your dog can still enjoy lots of safe swimming this summer. If they do swim in a pool, simply wash the chlorinated water off them afterwards.

If your dog isn’t a strong swimmer, avoid waters with heavy currents, avoid canals and other areas of stagnant water and check streams, rivers, and lakes for blue/green algae (this is toxic for dogs) before letting your dog swim there.

Carry plenty of fresh drinking water with you, ensuring your dog is hydrated will deter them from drinking water that isn’t fresh – this can very easily cause an upset stomach.

By following these rules of thumb, you should avoid any unwanted hiccups.

Thinking they don’t need sun cream

The assumption that only us humans need to wear sun cream couldn’t be more wrong – dogs with short hair can suffer from sunburn too.

Consider purchasing a dog-specific sun cream. Meanwhile, if you think your dog is sunburnt (because their skin is irritated, peeling, and red), contact your local vet.

Walking your dog on concrete without checking

Whilst your dog might be eager to run out the door on their next walk, you should be doing some checks first.

Most importantly, don’t let your dog walk on hot pavements – their paws are at risk of burning, which can be painful and uncomfortable.

Thankfully, there’s one easy way you can check this – the five-second test.

Place the back of your hand onto the pavement and if you can hold it there for five seconds without burning, the pavement isn’t too hot for your beloved pooch.

Where possible, walk your dog in grassy or shady areas to be extra cautious. You can also buy pad protectors.

Being a little too relaxed with your BBQ

Summer BBQs are iconic and many of us centre our weekends around fun celebrations with family and friends – alongside some delicious food.

However, BBQs can be dangerous for your dogs to be around open flames, lighter fluid, and other hot pieces of equipment.

With this in mind, it’s important that you pay close attention to where your dog is during BBQ time.

Either keep your dog away from the BBQ or invest in safety precautions, like a fence around anything hot.

Don’t walk them in the daytime

It’s easy to assume that sunny days are perfect for long walks with our dogs.

However, hot temperatures are actually very dangerous and dogs can experience extreme heatstroke if they exercise in the heat.

Therefore, Anna recommends that you walk your dog in the morning and/or evening when temperatures drop and become cooler.

Sharing your summer snacks

If your dog is your best friend, you might be tempted to share everything with them – food included.

Unfortunately, that’s not always a good idea, even if your summer snacks are delicious.

Lots of the foods we enjoy in the summer are actually toxic for dogs.

For example, grapes are dangerous and whilst refreshing for us, they’re not a healthy choice for man’s best friend.

Similarly, raisins, coffee, chocolate, and walnuts – all of which are often enjoyed in the summer.

Instead, give your dogs refreshing food that’ll nourish them and taste great!

Raw food is both cooling and mouth-watering for dogs, the moisture content of raw food makes it far more hydrating for dogs than overly processed foods.

Provide sun-safe socialisation opportunities

With hot temperatures taking over our summer, dogs may see their furry friends less frequently as you avoid daytime walks.

However, it’s important for some dogs to continue socialising with other dogs.

If this is the case for your dog, Anna recommends meeting one of their dog friends on an evening walk for a short period, or in a very shady area such as dense woodlands, allowing them to let off some energy without tiring themselves out completely.

This should help to keep your dog stimulated without any risk of heatstroke.

Make sure they don’t sunbathe for too long

Some dogs often love basking in the sunshine and whilst we may laugh at their similarity to us, this isn’t safe for long periods of time.

Make sure your dog spends most of the time in the shade, or inside in the cool, buy a cool mat and/or fill a paddling pool (put it in a shady place) and give them the choice to stand or lie in the water.

If your dog does show signs of heatstroke (becoming lethargic, uncoordinated, and unwell), be sure to contact your vet right away.