As the summer gets warmer week on week, we wanted to share some valuable advice and information to help look after your pooches.
The heat can be a very serious concern for dogs, from puppies to our oldies. Keeping to the below advice will help keep them safe and not suffer the alternative which is unthinkable.
Water and shade
Always keep into your thoughts that the sun shifts throughout the day, and even brief periods of direct exposure can cause problems. Keep their water bowls out of the sun and topped up with fresh water regularly throughout the day.
- With the sun baking our pavements and outdoor surfaces all day, and with us hooomans wearing foot protection, we don’t always realise the heat that our pavements can reach. Please check the temperature before embarking on your walk.
- Touch the pavement or surface where you will be walking.
- If your hand cannot stand the heat, your four pawed companions will not either. Pads are just as delicate as our skin.
Avoid parked cars
Please never leave your dog in a parked car in warm weather. Even a few minutes can seriously risk your dog’s welfare. Heatstroke can occur in minutes, even out of direct sunlight. I guess think about sitting in the car yourself in a fur coat!
- Not walking your dog for a day or two will not harm them. In fact, it’s safer for them if the heat is too high, especially for elderly and young dogs.
- Walk, don’t run. Dogs will collapse before giving up, so if it is humid and hot, and you run with them, they will become quickly overheated and your “exercise” could turn into a tragic emergency.
- Plan your walks – make the most of the early morning or later evening walks which will be much cooler and more pleasant for you both.
Yes Sun cream! Your dogs are just at risk of burning in the sun if not protected. In particular, light coloured or thinly coated dogs. You can buy pet specific sun cream at most pet shops and retailers, if you’re unsure whether you need some for your pooch, check with your vet.
Emergency first aid for dogs with heatstroke
For the best chance of survival, dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature lowered, but this needs to be done gradually or they can go into shock.
If your dog has collapsed, call a vet immediately as they may advise attending as a matter of emergency rather than starting treatment yourself.
In milder cases, you can follow these steps to start lowering your dog's temperature:
- Move the dog to a shaded and cool area.
- Immediately start pouring small amounts of room temperature (not cold) water onto the dog's body (cold water may cause shock). If possible, you can also use wet towels or place the dog in the breeze of a fan. If using wet towels, be sure to re-apply water regularly and not to keep the dog constantly covered – sometimes this can heat them up instead of cooling them down.
- Allow the dog to drink small amounts of room temperature water.
- Continue to pour small amounts of room temperature water onto the dog until their breathing starts to settle but not so much that they start to shiver.
- Once the dog is starting to get cooler and their breathing is settling down, call the nearest veterinary surgery so they can be checked over
Information courtesy of Dogs Trust, PETA, and Battersea