With Britain’s unpredictable weather you never know when a lovely sunny day or heat wave is going to strike, so you must be aware of the dangers heat can do to your beloved pet, how to prevent and treat such things.
You may,or may not have heard the saying ‘dogs can’t sweat’, this is partially true, they can sweat, but do so only in areas not covered in fur. This is a major reason as to why it is up to you, the owner, to make sure their temperature is regulated, as they have little control over it themselves.
One of the most easily avoidable and potentially most deadly scenario for a dog, claiming many lives annually, is to be left inside a vehicle in hot weather. NEVER leave you dog in any vehicle in these conditions even if, ‘only for a min’. An open window is not enough to regulate the temperature inside, the heat can easily double in temperature within an hour, this also applies to conservatories.
Make sure they always have enough fresh water, this might seem like an obvious thing to do but you must ensure its done, also make sure that the design of the bowl is such that it cannot be knocked over by the dog. If the dog is outside, make sure there are no other sources of liquid within their reach that should not be consumed. Dogs will hunt out and drink any liquid if thirsty enough.
Outside or in, always provide you pets with sufficient shaded areas. It’s not good enough just to create a cool house, dogs must have somewhere to reside if they are overheating. If you know you dog will be in the sun there is are pet sunscreens that you can buy, especially effective for dogs with light coloured ears or noses.
Going for a walk, avoid the midday sun and plan to walk your pet either in the early morning or the late evening and possibly cutting down the length of the walk to accommodate the heat. Another thing to consider before doing any of this is the temperature of the pavement; unlike humans dogs don’t have shoes to counter the damaging effects of the floor. A good test to see if the ground is ok is to place your hand on the ground and if you cannot keep it there for 15 sec then it’s not a good idea to go for a walk yet.
Another little personal tip is to place your dog’s toy in to a bucket of water and freeze it, providing an excellent game and cooling source for your pet.
Hopefully this advice helps you to keep your furry friends cool and safe in the hot weather.
Our next blog will be covering the signs of heatstroke and how to treat it, so check back soon.