Keeping Your Dog Safe During Hot Weather
With the summer in full swing we often spend time on ourselves, ensuring that we are protected from the sun but we often forget that our pets also have needs when it comes to hot weather in order for them to stay safe.
1. Enclosed, Hot Areas and Pets Do Not Mix
Those places such as parked cars and other enclosed areas that can quickly increase in heat can lead to a tragic ending for many pets. Hot weather can be problematic and it is surprising that many people are not aware of the dangers surrounding hot weather and pets being left in parked cars. However, it is not just cars that can be the issue, conservatories and caravans can become just as warm and pose just as much of a risk. It may feel warm outside but these places can get even hotter and can cause the pet distress and even death. If anyone suspects that a dog may be in danger then they should get in touch with the emergency services.
2. Give Your Pets the Things it Needs to Stay Cool
When your pet is outdoors, ensure that they have access to cold water and shade, adding ice cubes to water is also a great idea.
Dog houses are not the right solution in these conditions because they can also trap heat which can lead to dangerous conditions. The shade provided by trees and leaves are the best option because it still allows the flow of air. It is also a common misconception that fans are good for pets but they do not keep cool pets down in the same way that they do humans. Giving your dog cool treats can help to keep them cool and also if your pet has a long coat then consider getting it cut.
3. Less Exercise
Whilst it is always important to give your dog exercise it is wise to use common sense during the warm weather. Certain pets such as cats are in control of their own exercise so they will choose a time that is best for them but a dog relies on its owner so pick a time when it is cooler to exercise your dog. The best times are early in the morning and late in the evening and remember that tarmac can become hot which can lead to your pets paws becoming burnt, so try and use grass where possible.
4. The Sun Can Damage Animals Too
Us humans are susceptible to damage from the sun and so are dogs. Those dogs that have white coloured ears are at a greater risk so if you plan to have your dog out in the sun for extended periods of time then consider using pet sunscreen to apply to those areas that are not covered by fur such as the ears and nose.
5. Heat Stroke
If your pet is old, extremely young, overweight or has heart disease then it is at risk of heat stroke. There are tell-tale signs such as a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, dizziness and unconsciousness.
If you suspect that your pet may be suffering from heat stroke then immediately do all you can to cool them down. Ice packs and cold towels applied to the head, neck and chest can help along with cold water. However, they should see a vet straight away.
This article was contributed by Medicines 4 Pets, suppliers of a wide range of pet accessories and veterinary medicines including Vetmedin, Rimadyl and Metacam.