Phew! It has been a hot one today so I thought I would share some hints and tips to help you keep your pooch safe, happy and cool when the weather gets hot and what to do if your pooch starts to suffer from heat stroke.
- Dogs should never be left in a car on a hot day - even in the shade or with windows open.
- Avoid travelling in the car with your dog during the hottest part of the day.
- If you do need to travel during the day make sure your dog is not in direct sunlight by using shades to shield your pooch from the sun coming through the windows
- Make sure your dog has water available whilst travelling in a non-spill bowl, but make sure your dog doesn't gulp the water as this could make them sick.
- Never let your dog stick their head out of the window.
- Keep windows open or the aircon on whilst travelling to allow cool air in and airflow.
- Don't walk your dog during the hottest part of the day, morning and evening are better when it is cooler.
- Try to stick to woodland where the floor won't be as hot for your dogs feet and where there will be shade.
- Go on shorter walks so your dog isn't out in the heat for long.
- Carry water and give your dog frequent water stops.
- Don't encourage your dog to run around by throwing a ball or jogging with them, keep walks steady and calm to avoid overheating. Still amazes me when I see poeple throwing balls for their dogs, running with them or having them run along side a bike during hot weather!
- Allow fresh air to circulate your home by putting windows on nightlock.
- Have plenty of fresh cool water available for your dog in the home.
- Do not leave dogs in conservatories or give them assess to conservatories whilst you are in or out.
- Leave a fan on for your dog, but don't leave it on the floor or any wires trailing where your dog can get to them.
- Give your dog access to cool surfaces such as tiles so they can move to a cooler spot if they want to.
- Short-nosed, black and long-haired breeds, or overweight dogs can suffer more from the heat so take extra precautions with keeping these dogs cool.
- Fill a paddling pool up in the garden for your pooch to play in, put some of their toys in so they have to get in to fetch them.
- Make doggie icepops using broth, bits of meat and fruit/veg.
- If you have a white coated dog then apply sunblock to the tips of their ears and noses so they don't get sunburnt.
- Don't let your dog sunbath for too long, if they have been out in the sun for longer than 10 minutes then think about bringing them inside or moving them to a shady area.
WHAT IF YOUR DOG STARTS TO SHOW SIGN OF BEING TOO HOT OR HAVING HEAT STROKE?
- Put some towels in the bath tub and soak them in cold water, then put the towels over your dog, this will cool your dog down slowly. DO NOT douse your dog in cold water, the sudden change in temperature could cause your dog to go into shock.
- Place your dog in a shady area with a fan blowing on them if possible.
- Let your dog drink water little and often, don't let them drink a full bowl of water all at once.
- If your dog is panting heavily, collasped or unresponsive them take the immediately to your vet!
Other measures you can take:
- Grooming regularly helps to keep the coat free from loose undercoat and matting, which means it will be more efficient at keeping your dog cool. Clipping the coat is not always neccessary and can sometimes cause more problems when trying to keep cool. Speak to your groomer about whether it would be beneficial to your dog to have their coat shaved off.
- Muzzles - Never ever use a muzzle which keeps your dogs mouth completely closed during hot weather, these are not designed for long term use, they should only be used for 5 minutes at a time for a vet visit or similar, NEVER EVER for exercise. The Basket type muzzles are much better as they allow your dog to still pant and drink water.