Hello and welcome to my first blog post. Seeing as the weather has been so nice here lately, I thought why not start with a topic that is very important around this time of year, and that is looking after your dog in the hot weather. Now, its not often we get hot weather here in Ireland but when we do, our dogs are usually feeling the heat just as much as we are.
Saying that, Amber is definitely a sun worshipper unlike myself (who literally burns in the space of five minutes) and she will find the tiniest patch of sunlight to sit in. Dogs get rid of the heat in their bodies by panting and they sweat through the pads on their feet. It is possible that dogs can overheat and this can often be due to their breed or the circumstances in which they are kept, for example, if they have no shelter or shade or if they are left locked in a car, which unfortunately, is still a common occurrence. So I have listed a few ways below in which we can care for our dogs in the heat.
1. Don’t leave your dog in the car.
I can’t understand how people still do this but they do. It doesn’t matter if you leave the air-con on. It doesn’t matter if all the windows are down, its TOO HOT! Especially for your dog. So just don’t do it.
2. Walk your dog in the morning or evening instead.
The pads on your dog’s paws are as sensitive to the hot ground as our feet would be to us. This can cause discomfort and possible pain to your dog so it is best to take them out during cooler temperatures, like the morning or evenings.
3. Ensure they have access to cool, fresh drinking water.
This goes without saying at all times, but especially in the warmer weather. If you are taking your dog on a walk then always take water for them as well. There are different products on the market now like portable water bowls which allow your dog to stay hydrated. If you are leaving your pet at home for the day, it is also a good idea to fill their water bowl and a second one, just in case one would be tossed over.
4. Don’t shave your dog completely.
Not only does this leave them exposed to the possibility of sunburn but it can still get cold at night time. Keep their coat trimmed and tidy and ensure they have areas of shade for them to stay directly out of the sun.
5. Go for a swim.
Amber is a water baby and makes a beeline for it every time we go to the beach. Letting your dog go in for a swim is a great way for them to cool down and have fun.
6. Know the warning signs.
And last, but by no means least, dogs can easily overheat, especially those breeds that have breathing difficulties. It is important to observe and be aware of any signs that may indicate your dog is getting too hot – excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, or lethargic. If your dog shows any of these signs, remove them from the heat, give them water in small quantities, wet the dog (but slowly as extreme change in temperature may lead to complications), and contact your vet.
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke in dogs and knowing what to do if it occurs is crucial and may just save their life.
Amber in the Sun