If you were around in the summer of 2022, you’ll remember the scorching heatwave that hit the UK. As a responsible cockapoo owner, it’s crucial to ensure our furry friends stay cool and comfortable during those hot summer days. My 7-year-old cockapoo, Ziggy, and I have a few tricks up our sleeves to help you and your cockapoo survive the heat. So, let’s dive in!
A heatwave can be a challenging time for our cockapoos. Overheating and dehydration are real concerns, so it’s essential to know how to keep them cool and happy. In this article, I’ll share some tips and strategies I’ve used to help Ziggy stay comfortable during hot summer days.
Recognising Signs of Overheating and Heatstroke
Before we dive into some useful tips for keeping your cockapoo cool in the summer, it’s important to know the symptoms of overheating in cockapoos. Keep an eye out for:
- excessive panting
- lethargy, or even vomiting.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take action and cool your cockapoo down. In severe cases, heatstroke can occur, which requires immediate veterinary attention.
Tips to Keep your Cockapoo Cool during hot days
1. A cool house is a happy Cockapoo
First, before you even attempt to cool your cockapoo, you should make sure that your house itself is not contributing to any overheating issues. This means deploying all of the necessary practical steps needed to keep your house nice and cool. Of couse, if you have air conditioning (not that common in the UK) then this part is easy, but if you don’t, then consider these simple steps:
- Keep your blinds and curtains closed when any window is exposed to full sun. This will stop individual rooms from getting an extra boost of heat.
- If your indoor temperature is cooler than outside, try to keep windows and doors shut as much as possible. This stops warm air from travelling into your home.
- Set up fans in your home’s cooler areas to keep air circulating.
- Finally, when the “peak sun” period has finished, open all of your blinds and windows on the coolest side of your house. This will draw cool air into your home and help to keep it nice and fresh.
Following these tips may not be a cure-all, but they will at least help your home avoid becoming as hot as inside!
Once you’ve done this, try to esablish a specific room in your house to be the cool room. Here, use things like fans, and dog cooling mats, to help you keep your pooch nice and chill.
2. Keep Your Cockapoo Hydrated
Ziggy always has a fresh, cool bowl of water available, especially during hot weather. Portable water dispensers are also great for when you’re out and about.
If you find that your cockapoo isn’t drinking enough by themselves, then a good tip that we use with Ziggy is to drop a treat into your cockapoo’s water bowl. For us, he’ll try to fish it out, and then tends to finish off his snack with a nice long drink.
3. Adjusting Exercise and Outdoor Activities
During the heatwave, Ziggy and I switched our walks to the early morning or late evening to avoid the peak heat. Choose cooler surfaces for walks, such as grass, and monitor your cockapoo’s energy levels during activities.
Hot pavements (or sidewalks for our American readers) can be a real danger to your cockapoo’s paws. I always do the hand test: if I can’t hold my hand on the surface for more than five seconds, it’s too hot for Ziggy. Look for alternatives, such as grass or shaded paths, to keep your cockapoo’s paws safe. This is often something that you have to be constantly mindful of when out walking – especially when it comes to things like metal drain covers etc.
4. Cooling Treats and Toys
I love making homemade frozen treats for Ziggy, such as ice cubes with fruit or dog-friendly peanut butter. Commercially available cooling toys and chews can also help keep your cockapoo entertained and cool, but honestly a bit of imagination can save you some money here. Get creative, and your cockapoo will thank you!
5. Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Regular grooming is essential during hot weather to help keep your cockapoo’s coat in top condition. I use appropriate brushes and tools for Ziggy’s coat, and I’ll even give him a summer trim to help him stay cool.
6. Water Activities and Swimming
Ziggy loves splashing around in his paddling pool (and lakes, and the beach and everywhere!), which helps him cool off and have fun at the same time. Obviously, you should introduce your cockapoo to water and swimming gradually, and always supervise their water play. Safety first!
If you find that your cockapoo isn’t a fan of swimming, then consider giving them a cooling bath – they might not like it, but it might help to cool them off when things get warm.
Keeping your cockapoo cool during hot summer days is crucial for their health and wellbeing. By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can ensure your furry friend stays comfortable and happy all summer long.
Hopefully you’ve found this article useful! Here’s to healthy cockapoos and a healthy dose of sun this summer!