This week at It's Not the Dog we look at keeping your dog safe and having fun in the summer sun…
Heatstroke in dogs
Unlike us, dogs can’t sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes. Essentially your dog is wearing a thick winter coat on a hot summer’s day and that is why dogs succumb to heatstroke so easily.
Signs of heatstroke in dogs include collapse, excessive panting, and dribbling.
If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool place, ideally with a draught, wet their coat with cool - not freezing - water, and contact your vet straightaway.
Often once a dog shows signs of heatstroke the damage is often already done, which is why it’s so important to prevent it.
How to keep a dog cool and prevent heatstroke
Ensure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
Walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening.
Watch your pet for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even with the windows open
Make cooling tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite food inside or stuff a Kong and pop it in the freezer
Be particularly careful with short nosed dogs such as bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs, and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke simply by running around.
Keep dogs in the shade in the summer heat.
Next blog - UK dog friendly beaches.