Summer finally looks to be rearing its lovely head and its a great fun time of year for your dogs but remember to take care too as with the heat comes a few added dangers to consider watching out for.
- Exercise – Take your dogs out early or late since these are much cooler times and ALWAYS avoid the midday sun. Ensure you consider the surface your dog is being walked on i.e. pavements can become sorchingly hot in summer and at the very least it will be painful, hot pavements are perfectly capable of burning your dogs soft pads.
- Hydration – Ensure fresh cool (not cold) water is always available. Take water with you on your walks. Ensure that after exercise your dog drinks moderately in any one go to minimise the risk of bloat. What out for signs that your dog may be dehydrated such as pale gums, blood shot eyes and lethargy.
- Food/Treats – Consider making up frozen Kong toys, there are tonnes of good recipies on the internet and they not only cool your dog but keep them occupied for hours!
- Keep cool – Ensure that at home your dog has adequate shade when in the garden. Purchase a ‘cool coat’, these are made out of special material that when soaked keep cool and wet for hours on end, they are brilliant for keeping dogs cool.
- Cars – NEVER leave your dog in a parked car, not even with the windows cracked open for ventilation, this isnt adequate to keep a dog cool.
- Swim – In summer I often supplement a daily walk with a daily swim, the dogs love it! Check out on google to find safe local places that you may not even know exist and then go see for yourself to ensure they are safe. Beware that dogs shouldnt leap into unknown water sources in case their is something dangerous just under the surface like wood sticking up, ensure they walk/drop in slowly and sensibly.
Signs a dog has overheated
- Sunken eyes and mouth
- Pale gums and nose
- Poor skin elasticity
- Bright red or blue gums
- Slow capillary refil – press gums and see, does colour flood back or is it slow to return?
- Excessive panting
If in any doubt, contact your veterinarian for advice.
No guarantee is stated or implied in this article and if you follow any of the advice in it, you do so at your own risk. If you ever feel that you, your dog, or others are at risk because of your dog, please seek the services of a professional dog trainer.