There’s no better way to spend a summer day than frolicking with your beloved cocker spaniel. Whether you’re in the woods, at a dog-friendly beach, or just in the backyard, there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had. But how long can your furry friend be out in the sun? This article will answer that question, and give tips for a cooler, healthier summer with your dog.
Time in the Sun
The longest time a cocker spaniel should be out in the sun for is three hours. Any longer, and problems start to occur. Heat exhaustion, sunburn, and even heatstroke can hit a dog who’s been out in the sun too long. Their double coat can trap a lot of the sun’s heat, but their eyelids and noses can burn if they’re light-colored. Bring them inside, or at the very least into the shade, if they look like they’re getting too hot.
Protect the Paws
Always be careful when walking your cocker spaniel in the summer. The sidewalks can get incredibly hot, and their paw pads might get burned. A good rule of thumb is to put your hand on the sidewalk for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Either try your walk when it’s cooler, or let your pup walk in the grass. And don’t underestimate the heat of sand. Anyone who’s walked barefoot on a beach knows that hot sand is torturous on feet. To protect your dogs’ paws at the beach, try a set of booties. They may not understand them at first, but these little shoes will help protect their sensitive paws.
One of the most important things to remember in the summer, for all species, is to drink enough water. It’s a smart idea to bring a few bottles of water, and a bowl, whenever you leave the house with your dog. At home, cool the water down with some ice cubes if you like, or flavor it with some low-sodium beef broth to encourage your cocker spaniel to drink more. On the go, see if you can pass by businesses or friendly neighbors, who keep bowls of water out for thirsty pups. However you decide to do it, getting your dog to drink enough is vital in the hot summer.
Heat Illness in Dogs
If your cocker spaniel is panting excessively, trembling, or lethargic, they could have heat exhaustion. This is a serious illness. Cool them down with some water, dry them off with a fan, and let them drink plenty of cool water. Then head for the vet just in case the damage went any deeper. And for the more severe heatstroke, head for an emergency vet first and foremost. Your dog’s life is at risk at that point. So keep them cool, don’t leave them in a car alone, and don’t let them stay out in the yard too long.
Sunburn in Dogs
Yes, your cocker spaniel can get sunburned too. There are parts of them, especially on the face, that have less fur than the rest of them. If they’re light-colored, these can burn quite easily. The safest thing to do would be to stay inside at the peak sun times, but if that’s impossible, there are special, dog-safe sunscreen formulas. You can find these on Amazon, or at any major pet store. Your dog may not be too happy with the face-handling, but it’s for their own good. You can build positive associations with the sunscreen by feeding your pup a favorite treat after it’s been applied. And remember, sunscreen is best applied before going out, for both you and your cocker spaniel.
Don’t Shave Your Cocker Spaniel