Keeping Your Dog Safe In The Summer Heat
For humans, summer signifies fun, socialising, and a slower pace of life. For some dogs and other animals, however, summer can pose a very serious threat to their health. The problem dogs face is that they’re unable to sweat and so must pant to lower their body temperature. Not all breeds are able to do this effectively enough to lower their body temperature in time before suffering from heatstroke and exhaustion. This is because their snouts are shorter than average, and they’ve been inbred to such an extent that they can have smaller, cleft, and less wide palates to allow for normal breathing and respiratory function – these include breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, Pekinese, and the Boston terrier.
Never Leave Them Alone In A Parked Car
Just don’t do it – don’t leave your dog in a parked car on a hot day; even on a warm day. Do not leave your dog unattended in your car even if the windows are open and you only intend on being one minute. Temperatures inside cars can soar to dangerous levels exceedingly quickly – in fact; they can rise to 30°C to 40°C hotter than the outside temperatures. This means that your dog could lose consciousness and die within minutes. Is it ever worth taking the risk? No matter how short you believe, your errand is going to be – dogs die in hot cars. No errand is worth putting your pet through something traumatic such as this, so try to avoid doing this at all costs. Over a quarter of all Brits admit to leaving their dog alone in parked cars, and there were more than 1,000 call outs to the AA last year concerning pets locked in parked cars. Take the necessary precautions to avoid this becoming an issue for your dog.
Get A Small Paddling Pool
Keep your dog cool by getting a small paddling pool for them to dip into when they feel hot. Ensure that the water is clean and fresh, and consider adding a few toys if your dog enjoys playing. Resist the urge to play fetch with your dog during high temperatures, however, as they can soon overheat from running about. Also, be sure to groom your dog to remove excess winter hair from their coats. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 38.3 – 39.2°C and anywhere over 41°C can be fatal and will call for immediate veterinary assistance.
Keep Them Hydrated
Always ensure that your dog has access to water. Keep their bowl topped up with fresh water throughout the day, and encourage them to drink more fluids when it’s hot. A dog should drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight each day, or 50-60 ml of water per kilogram of weight. So, if your dog weighs around 18-20 kg (beagles, spaniels, 50 ml border collies, and Staffordshire bull terrier), then it will need just over 1 litre of water (about 5 cups). Depending on the size of your dog, make sure that you provide them with enough water to keep them hydrated.
Shady And Cool Areas
When you’re outside in the garden during the summer months, try to encourage your dog to lay down in the shade on the grass rather than on materials such as concrete and asphalt. These warm up considerably faster, and your dog can easily overheat if they’re unable to cool themselves down through panting. Your dog’s paw pads can burn if they’re exposed to hot surfaces, so ensure that you keep to the shade when walking your dog, and take them to grassy areas so to avoid this potentially painful condition. Take your dog out to walk when it’s cooler – during the morning and the evening before the sun is at its hottest. Dogs can get sunburnt, and in particular look out if your dog has white fur or a naturally thin coat. Depending on the fur of your dog they may be more sensitive to the sun and could develop sunburn and skin cancers, so take care and ensure your dog has shade spots whenever possible. If your dog is an outdoor pet, then make sure their area includes shade, so your dog isn’t caught out.
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