Summer and How To Keep Your Dog Safe!
Summer is coming and it can be dangerous for our dogs when the weather is really hot, including today, which is meant to reach 33 degrees 🥵 (hottest day so far!). Dogs can get heatstroke very easily if we are not careful!
Some tips on keeping your dogs cool!
Walk your dogs during the cooler parts of the day, for example, early morning and late evening.
If you walk them in the middle of the day, keep walks short but often.
You can take your dogs to places with water so they can go swimming. I like going to Virginia Water Lake near Windsor.
Some other places I would recommend for swimming: Hampstead Heath, Richmond Park, and Chiswick House.
You can set up a paddling pool in your garden.
Make sure you have plenty of water for them to drink at home and you can carry water with you on your walks.
Since it is nice outside, there will be more people in the park having picnics. There will be more food lying around in the park. So, be careful your dog doesn't pick up food. Recall is extremely important!
Brachycephalic breeds (flat-nosed dogs, such as Pugs), puppies and overweight dogs has a higher tendency to overheat. And also thick-coated, colder climate dogs (like Huskies). So extra care should be taken with these breeds in these weather conditions.
Never leave your dog in a car unattended, especially when it is hot!
Remember the 5 second rule! Place the back of your hand on the ground and if you can’t keep it there, it is too hot for your dog to walk!
"No dog has died from missing a walk but a dog has died from a walk in the heat!”
Why dogs get hot so easily
Now, I will explain a little about why dogs overheat so easily. The way dogs are built and how they get rid of heat is why they find it hard to cool itself in extremely hot temperatures. The first reason is that dogs has fur all over their body, unlike humans, which is very good in keeping them warm in the winter but in the summer, it can get too hot. The second reason is that dogs mainly give out heat through their mouth by panting. They pant to evaporate heat from their tongue. When they give off the heat in a small enclosed area, such as in a car, they will make the area hotter in the already increasing hot area. So, they are not actually cooling themselves down. In high temperatures, panting is not an effective way of losing heat. The third reason is that dogs don’t have sweat glands on their body, unlike humans. They only have sweat glands in their footpads but they only give out minimal heat. Body temperature anything above 40 degrees Celsius is considered extremely dangerous.
A bit on heatstroke
Heatstroke is when a dog gets too hot and is unable to cool itself down to a safe body temperature. Initially, it will start with heat exhaustion, where the dog will show signs, such as, lower responsiveness, heavy panting, and stopping more often for breaks. If it carries on, then it would lead to heatstroke. The signs could be vomiting, diarrhoea, unresponsiveness, and collapsing. At this point, the body temperature is above 40 degrees celsius, which is extremely dangerous, and it could be life-threatening if not treated quickly by a vet.