How To Care For Your Dog In The Heat This Summer
Your dog, just like you, can suffer from heat stroke. Heat stroke in dogs can develop rapidly with exposure to high temperatures, humidity and poor ventilation. Symptoms to look out for include:
- A staring or anxious expression
- Failure to respond to commands
- Warm, dry skin
- Extremely high temperature
- Rapid heartbeat
Generally, we find that puppies and elderly dogs in summer tend to be more susceptible to heat stroke. Also we aware of dogs with thick, heavy coats or dogs with an existing cardiovascular or respiratory condition can be affected too. Certain breeds with narrow airways, such as bulldogs, are particularly prone to heat stress. If you’re worried about any form of heat stress, the best course of action is always to seek prompt vet attention!
Another danger to be aware of is dog sunburn. Many believe because dogs have fur, they are not susceptible to sunburn. Some dogs however can get burnt, especially if their hair is light and thin. Some dogs even have no hair at all in areas such as around the nose, and these areas can be easily burnt when out in the sun.
Paw pads can be burnt when on a walk. If it is a particularly hot day your dog may struggle outside, especially if you are walking on surfaces that heat up quickly. The best way to check if it is too hot is to press your hand on the surface, if you can’t hold your hand there for long it’s too hot for your pooch to be walking on. If this is the case, walking on grass might be safer.
How to keep your dog cool
Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks. On hot days, walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening. Watch your pet for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
Make cooling tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite food inside or stuff a Kong and pop it in the freezer!