Keeping your dog cool all summer
June 14, 2020
As the weather hots up it brings new challenges for dog owners – not least in terms of how to keep them cool if there’s a repeat of 2018’s heatwave.
Along with the more obvious warnings, such as never to leave dogs in the car on a sunny day or walk it when the pavements are hot, our head nurse Rachel at Cheltenham has compiled a list of cooling tips to make sure they stay safe throughout the summer.
As this is also the time of year when parasites such as ticks and fleas are most active, it’s wise to make sure your dog’s preventative treatment is up to date. To check simply contact us and make an appointment to see our veterinary nurse.
Summer safety for dogs
It’s only natural to want to get out and about with your dog when the sun’s shining, but too much exposure can be dangerous to dogs as they can be prone to heatstroke, which develops quite quickly under the right conditions.
Symptoms of heatstroke
- Laboured panting
- Dull gums – not bright pink as they should be
If you spot any of these symptoms you should contact us straight away on 01242 517199 after removing your dog from the heat, wrapping it in a cold (not iced) towel (never wrap your dog in a wet towel as this will trap the heat in) and making sure it has plenty of water. Any temperature over 20° poses a potential hazard to your dog, so keep a close eye on the mercury. Days when it’s a little cooler but there is full sun can also be deceptively dangerous for your dog.
Keeping your dog cool
- Make sure there’s always plenty of shade and water
- If you’re in the garden a paddling pool is a good idea and fun too
- Iced treats will stimulate and entertain your dog as well as keep them cool
- Cooling pads are now widely available
- Go for walks either side of midday – early morning and late evening are good times
- Pet-specific sunscreen should be applied to your dog, especially if it is white/light in colour or has hairless patches. Their nose and ears would benefit from this too.
- NEVER leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Leaving the windows or sunroof open won’t stop your dog from overheating and as little as 20 minutes could prove fatal.
- NEVER leave your dog in a sunny porch, conservatory, tent or caravan, as this can cause them to develop heatstroke. If alone in the day, remember to draw the curtains or pull down the blinds to keep out the midday sun.
Armed with these tips there’s no reason you and your dog can’t enjoy the warmer weather together. But do keep an eye out for those ticks and fleas – regular grooming will help with that as well as remove loose hair that might add to your dog’s discomfort.
You can arrange to update parasite prevention by booking an appointment with our veterinary nurse.