It’s our first summer in Spain with our galgo, Noodle. We live just south of Seville and, even though it’s only May, just in the last couple of weeks the temperature has rocketed to a scorching 37º. We adopted Noodle at the beginning of March and literally a week later the whole country went into lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, so in this time have got to know each other pretty well. Since the recent rise in temperature he has noticeably changed from a ball of energy around the house to being permanently flaked out on the couch. Now I walk him early in the morning when it is still cool and then again later evening when the sun has gone down and even then he arrives back panting and heads straight for his water bowl. The rest of the day he is permanent fixture on the couch.
Greyhounds and the heat
Greyhounds can overheat easily in the hot weather- mainly because they don’t have a lot of fat or fur so they are not insulated against the heat. They only have sweat glands on their noses and on the pads of their feet and so on hot days they are unable to cool themselves down merely by sweating, as we humans are programmed to do. When the temperature rises look out for the warning signs of overheating such as excessive panting, skin which is red or hot to the touch, ears which are red and hot to touch and weakness in standing or walking. These are the symptoms of potential heat stroke. If your dog shows any of these signs place cool wet cloths on the body and direct a fan towards him so that he can be cooled down straightaway.
So, with the arrival of summer fast approaching, here are the 7 essential products to keep your greyhound cool…
This is a vest which keeps your dog cool by using its body heat to evaporate water. The vest is soaked in cold water (or put in the freezer), the excess water is then wrung out and it is fitted onto the dog (usually secured with a simple strap). The vest can be kept cool over long periods and can be ‘topped up’ by lightly pouring water onto the jacket from time to time when needed. Most jackets are made of breathable materials, are machine washable and lightweight. An extra benefit is that they keep the sun off your dog’s skin, preventing damage from harmful UV rays. They are a great idea to use at home or in the garden on really hot days, in the car or during a day out in the sun.
Believe it or not you can now buy paddling pools made especially for dogs! Who knew! So what’s the difference between a regular paddling pool and a doggie paddling pool I hear you ask. Well, those made for dogs tend to be made of much stronger material and aren’t at risk of being damaged on first contact with your hound´s claws or teeth. Likewise, they tend not to be inflatable so there’s no risk of popping and water cascading across your garden or patio. The pools tend to be much sturdier with firm sides and are easily foldable and stored away. If your hound loves water then a pool might be the ideal way to keep him cool over the summer months.
An elevated cooling bed
When it comes to sleeping or just relaxing your hound may find his usual bed or spot on the sofa is just too warm in the summer months. An elevated bed could provide aq comfortable solution during hotter times of the year. The bed is raised just slightly off the floor and allows air to flow underneath. These beds tend to be made of a mesh type fabric which is breathable, encourages air flow and helps to keep your pet cool. They are lightweight and easy to move around. They can be placed effortlessly in the garden or it can be moved to a cool corner of your house. These beds seem extremely popular among greyhound owners as they are durable, come in a range of sizes, are easily cleaned and reasonably priced.
A cooling mat
They are mats which are filled with a non-toxic gel inner lining. The cooling technology is activated when your hound applies weight or pressure ono the surface. As your dog lies on the mat the heat from the dog is absorbed, the surface is cooled and your pooch experiences a comfortable cooling sensation. These mats do not require electricity or placing in the fridge/freezer. They are made of PVC and are easy to wipe clean and fold away. They are perfect for use at home or for days out and trips in the car.
Pavements can get extremely hot during the summer. You ou should try to avoid taking your hound out on hot pavements under the midday sun. If you place the back of your hand on the pavement for a few seconds you should be able to quickly gauge whether it is too hot for the soft pads of your dog’s feet. Be particularly aware of surfaces such as asphalt, tarmac and artificial grass.
There are now boots which are specially designed to protect dog paws during extreme hot / cold weather or walking on rough terrain. The boots are hi-tech and super cute. They come in breathable fabrics with rubber soles and adjustable straps. Moreover, they have an anti-slip design so your hound doesn’t end up skidding across slippery floors. I would love to see my Noodle strutting his stuff in a set of these cutie booties.
Staying hydrated is essential in the hot weather. I usually take a bottle of water with me on walks and a little plastic container for Noodle to drink from. Some clever people have designed a nifty dog cup which has been specially created with dog walking in mind. It is essentially a bottle with a bowl-like attachment at the top. When the bottle is inverted a button can be pressed to release water into the little trough for your dog to drink. Any water that isn’t drunk can be returned back into the bottle. It’s a nifty little container for thirsty dogs when on walks and on days out.
A cooling scarf or bandana
If you want your hound to look cool as well as feel cool then the cooling bandana may be just what you are looking for! You can soak the bandana or neckerchief in water and place it in the fridge or freezer. Once it is cool you can place it around your dog’s neck and fasten it with a Velcro strap. The bandanas are non-toxic and are designed to absorb heat. They help your dog to stay super cool for longer and are available in a variety of cute designs and styles. With one of these your pooch will be the coolest dude on the block!
I hope you found this information useful. I really want this site to be a place where readers can share knowledge about products which they have found useful or successful. If you have had positive or negative experiences when using any of these products I would love to hear about them. Or, maybe you have another suggestion, some advice or great idea for keeping your hound cool this summer. If you do please leave a comment below and let me know. Thank you.
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