Now that summer is here , chronologically anyway, we love to spend time outdoors with our pets. There are a few important things to remember before setting out with your canine friend on a hot day;
1. Brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers are predisposed to heat related injuries as they cannot get rid of heat as effectively as other breeds. For this reason avoid too much exercise on hot days and make sure they have a cool shaded spot to go to with lots of water.
2. Dogs don’t sweat in the same way we do but rather they must pant to expel their heat.
3. Preventing heat related illnesses is really important. Here are some suggestions to help avoid problems; Take breaks frequently if you are out walking or in the direct sunlight with your dog; Make sure you bring enough water for you and your pet and stop often to drink. There are many portable water bowls available that make it easier for you to give water to your pet.; NEVER leave your dog in the car when it is warm as the temperature will rise quickly over a short period of time. Even cracking the windows doesn’t let enough cool air in especially since dogs are often stressed in the car.
4. Signs to look for if you dog is over heated
a. panting a lot and then they suddenly stop
b. gums appear bright red instead of their normal pink colour
c. they become very quiet and slow right down
d. having trouble breathing
e. they collapse or lose consciousness
f. their body temperature feels really warm
5. If you think your pet is suffering from heat related illness you should do the following;
SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY. Take them to the nearest veterinarian
If you are somewhere where there is no veterinary facility near by then do the following;
a. remove them from the heat and/or direct sunlight by moving them inside or to heavy shade.
b. Cool them down with wet towels but don’t place them in ice as they may not be able to regulate for the extreme cold. Hosing them down with cool water helps also. Their groin area and the pads of their paws are the best places to apply cooling substances.
c. Offer them water only if they are alert enough to drink it and offer only in small quantities. Offering a couple of ice cubes is also a good idea.
Enjoy your summer and keep you furry friends and yourself safe from heat.