We joke about our poor UK Summers but the recent run of hot weather reminds us that our dogs need extra care during these months.
Why are dogs at risk in hot weather
Dogs can’t sweat in the same way as humans. Therefore they have to release heat through their paw pads, nose and via panting. Their fur coats can be a hindrance too. Neither can dogs easily escape confined spaces. Thus they are at the mercy of where we humans place them.
Heatstroke is a real risk and a high cause of death each year for dogs. Especially brachycephalic dogs, like pugs, staffies and bulldogs, are at high risk for heat stroke. Because of their short snouts they don’t cool air as efficiently when they breathe as do dogs with longer noses. Additionally, elderly or overweight dogs and those with pre-existing medical complaints are also high risk but all dogs can develop heatstroke surprisingly quickly.
Warning signs: thirst, rapid breathing, weakness, an increased heart rate, dry gums, red tongue, an increased temperature.
Some top tips to ensure that your dog stays cool and safe during hot weather.
- Give your dog room to move around at home. Additionally, open windows and turn on air conditioning if you have it.
- Encourage your dog to lie on a wet towel.
- Keep your dog hydrated. Also serve chilled water in your dog’s drinking bowl.
- Prevent your dog from sleeping on flagged or cemented areas. Probably a grassy area under a shady tree will suit your dog better.
Out and about
- Exercise your dog in the cooler parts of the day – early morning, late evening. Take water and a collapsible water bowl with you.
- Make sure the exercise is gentle. Vigorous exercise can cause dogs to overheat.
- While it’s tempting to let your dog swim in rivers and canals during hot weather this can be dangerous. They can get entangled in plants or debris or there may be harmful substances in the water itself. Instead bathe or shower your dog at home in cool (not freezing) water. All of our Dog Hair Day shampoos have cooling, uplifting fragrances. Click here to buy Dog Hair Day shampoo.
- Do not take an animal to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh drinking water. Bathe your dog after he has been in salt water.
- If you do have to drive with your dog in hot weather turn on the car’s air conditioning. Never leave your dog unattended. Provide water in a bowl that will not spill over.
- Consider having your dog’s fur clipped for summer.
- If you suspect heatstroke contact your vet immediately.
TAGS: dog shampoo, heatstroke, dogs in hot weather.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained here it is for educational purposes only. The writer of this article and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.