Ice, ice (fur)baby!
It’s officially a heatwave! You might have already cracked open the bbq and stocked up on ice lollies this weekend… But the heat isn’t all beer and skittles for our furry side-kicks…
Unlike us sticky-all-over humans, dogs are only able to sweat through their paws and nose. Their main way of cooling down is by forcing air repeatedly over their wet mouth surfaces to make the most of cooling by evaporation – in other words, panting.
On really hot days there is a genuine risk of heat exhaustion and collapse in dogs which can be fatal if not attended to rapidly.
The good news is there are plenty of simple tips and tricks you can adopt to help keep your pet cool this summer:
- Tiles are a great place to cool down. If you have a tiled room encourage your dog to lie there and let the cool surface lower their body temperature.
- Consider investing in a child’s paddling pool. These are great if partly filled with cool water and used for supervised play.
- Place additional water bowls around your home and garden to encourage hydration.
- Many dogs shed their thicker coat during the warmer months. You can help with this by grooming them regularly to help remove the shed fur. Some dogs may benefit from a trip to the hairdresser’s for a little trim too.
- You can purchase cooling pads, collars and vests. If you don’t have these, wetting a towel for your dog to lie on can be very effective.
- Look out for signs of heatstroke: excessive panting, lethargy, confusion, seizures, foaming at mouth, shaking or weakness and vomiting or diarrhoea.
- If you can’t put your hand flat on the ground and keep it there, it’s too hot for paws!
- Short nosed, thick coated and giant breeds are particularly vulnerable, as well as elderly, very young and poorly dogs. All should not be exercised in the heat.
- Walk your dog early in the morning, before the sun gets hot.
- Save ball throwing for cooler days.
If you suspect you dog has heatstroke act quickly. Start cooling your dog down and contact your vet straight away.