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Hot Weather Care Tips For Your Dog

Summer is here and we have definitely been enjoying some hotter weather. Because of this, we should make sure we are taking the best care of our canine friends. Dogs of course love the longer days and the longer walks that often come with it, however, there are a number of dangers the hotter days can bring. Below are some practical vets’ tips on keeping your dog happy and safe throughout the summer months…

So, first, let’s take a look at what dangers the hot weather can bring:

Heat stroke

  • This happens when your dog’s body temperature becomes too high and they overheat
  • Your dog is most at risk of this during excitement or exercise
  • Dogs can easily overheat as they are not able to sweat like we do (ie all over their body). Their only means of cooling down is through panting or sweating through their pads and nose/mouth
  • A mild case of overheating will show as vomiting or diarrhoea, while severe cases can lead to seizures and death

Burnt paws

  • Pavements and tarmac can easily become much too hot in the sun and may burn their paws
  • Unfortunately it is unlikely that your dog will realise they are burning their pads until after it has happened, so you will need to plan your walks
  • In severe cases, burns could mean weeks of recovery with repeat bandages to keep the pads comfortable

Sunburn

  • Your dogs’ ears and nose can be burnt by the sun, so try not to walk at the hottest times of day and if possible, walk where there is regular shade
  • Take care particularly with paler and shorter haired dogs who are even more prone to sunburn

 

Quick Checklist of Do’s and Don’ts in Hot Weather

DO:

  • Walk your dog when it is cooler, such as first thing in the morning or in the evening
  • Take water for your dog when you go on long walks
  • Perform a ‘Touch Test’ on your walk – if the ground is too hot for you to keep your hand on, then it is too hot for your dog!
  • Let your dog swim in cool water on walks, or use a pool in your garden
  • Apply a dog friendly sunscreen to exposed areas of skin (there is plenty of choice to purchase on-line, or call your vet for advice)
  • Consider giving them a summer trim particularly if your pet is long-haired
  • Ensure there is always fresh water available for them to drink at home

DON’T:

  • Walk your dog during the hottest parts of the day
  • Exercise your pet excessively – your dog does not know their own limits, so limit play in particularly active dogs during the hotter parts of the day
  • Walk your dog in direct sunlight for too long – head to shady places wherever possible
  • Walk your dog on pavements or tarmac, instead try to walk on cooler grass or earth as much as possible
  • EVER leave your dog unattended in a car or conservatory/greenhouse. This could be fatal.

Plenty of good common sense ideas to keep your lovely pets happy and comfortable!

Happy walkies!

June 30, 2020

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