With Summer temperatures now soaring high it is important we keep our furry friends safe and healthy in the hot weather. Animals are very susceptible to heatstroke which can be fatal, so here are a few do’s and don’t’s to keep your four legged friends healthy and happy during these extra sunny days:
Do: Always ensure their water bowls are freshly changed as many times as possible daily
Use cool water cloths (not ice cold as this will restrict blood vessels and stop cooling from occurring) to pat their heads and feet when they seem to be struggling
Walk your dog early in the morning or late at night when the air will be cooler and the ground is less concentrated with heat, which can burn their paws in a very short time – if it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for theirs!
Offer your dog ice cubes to lick, it is perfectly safe and will cool them down quickly
Don’t: EVER leave your dog in the car on a hot day, even with the windows open – it takes minutes to cause heatstroke should they be confined in a small hot space (I have heard many stories lately of angry shoppers breaking stranger’s car windows in supermarket car parks to rescue a dog from within and having very stern words for the owners upon their return. Far be it for me to advocate vandalism, however people do need to realise the seriousness of doing this, even for a few minutes)
Ignore the symptoms of heatstroke, these include excessive panting, staggering, seizures, diahorea/vomiting, body temperatures reaching 104-110F degrees – contact your vet immediately at the first sign of these
Think that creating fun for your dogs in the heat is difficult or even expensive – there are countless options. One example, fill a bowl with water and their favourite treats, toys and other safe bits then freeze this, your dog will have hours of fun in the garden licking and discovering new things – and it will keep their body temperatures from rocketing too
Forget to keep long haired breeds well groomed and trimmed as this will help keep them cool and even improve their circulation during hot periods
Much of the above is common sense but with the busy lives most of us lead a little reminder is always helpful, after all we love our pets like part of the family – so enjoy the sun and stay safe with them this Summer!