With the growth in pet ownership showing no signs of slowing down, new homes builder Miller Homes has joined forces with animal welfare charity Blue Cross to reveal the top eight things every dog owner should know ahead of a number of forecasted heatwaves in May and June.
When it gets hotter, dogs can not only feel more uncomfortable, but their risk of sunburn, skin cancer and even a fatal heatstroke can massively increase.
First-time owners might not be aware of summer flowers which are toxic to dogs, and the fact that they should never leave their dogs alone in the car – even for a few minutes.
The research comes after lockdown prompted a surge in new dog owners, with market and consumer research portal, Statista, reporting that the number of dogs bought and adopted in the UK increased by more than three million in just two years.
Here are the top tips for dog owners to keep in mind as the temperatures rise.
1. Be wary of summer flowers and house plants
Many common house plants are toxic for dogs. Some plants which are dangerous include aloe vera, holly, lilies, spider plants and herbs which you’re likely to grow, such as rosemary. But as it gets warmer, you should also take steps to avoid your canine getting closer to summer plants which can also be toxic. This includes azaleas, cyclamen roots, elderberries, foxgloves, hyacinths and rhododendrons. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Never leave your dog in the car alone
Cars can heat up within minutes, so never leave your dog alone in a car, even if all the windows are open. The temperature inside of a parked car can increase rapidly, leading to dogs becoming dehydrated within moments. If you see a dog alone in a car on a hot day, you should call 999. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Don’t take them for midday walks
Even if your dog is an active one, avoid walking them between 11am and 3pm. Ideally, go for their strolls in the cool of the early morning or evening, to avoid your dog being too exposed to the heat. Ensure that they stay in the shade for as long as possible too. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Check the heat of the pavement with your fingers
Many of us know how hot the sand on a beach can feel when you’re walking barefoot on a hot day – but for dogs in summer, this can be all too common when walking on the pavement every day. The ground can be hotter than the air around us as it absorbs heat fast, risking the chances of your pooch burning their paws. Simply check the pavement with your hand for a few seconds before they set foot on it – if it’s too hot for you to touch for seven seconds, don’t let them suffer. Photo: Canva/Getty Images