It’s great when the sun actually comes out now and again in summer – but animals can find hot weather very difficult, especially dogs, as they often accompany us on walks and journeys.
The effects of too much heat can quickly turn from uncomfortable to dangerous, so it’s extremely important that you:
- Take steps to avoid your dog getting too hot.
- Know how to spot when your dog has overheated.
- Act fast if there’s a threat to your dog’s health.
Plus, if you feel that your dog isn’t coping well with the heat despite precautions, have a chat with our vet nurses at our London Road practice so they can offer advice.
1) Stop your dog getting too hot
A few simple choices can make all the difference:
- DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A CAR – Despite frequent warnings, some dog owners still make this terrible mistake. Dogs can become very unwell and even die in hot cars.
- SHADY WALKS – With their thick, hairy coats, dogs feel the heat much more than humans. It’s therefore best to avoid direct sunlight, especially during exercise. Woods around Hampshire and other unexposed areas are ideal.
- AVOID TARMAC AND CONCRETE – These surfaces can reach incredibly high temperatures during sunny weather and the pads of your dog’s paws can burn upon contact.
- TAKE YOUR DOG FOR A SWIM – If you’re lucky enough to be near a stream or river, take your dog for a paddle so they can enjoy the natural coolness of the water.
- TAKE WATER WITH YOU – Wherever you take your dog, make sure you have water to stop them becoming dehydrated. Plus, try to travel during mornings and evenings rather than in the midday heat.
2) Spot the danger signs of a too-hot dog
Watch out for the following symptoms during warm weather:
- Excessive panting or slobbering
- Difficulty breathing
- Faster heartbeat
- Weakness or collapse
- A seizure or fit
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- High body temperature (just 4 or 5 degrees above normal can be critical)
3) Take action if your dog overheats
If your dog seems hot but doesn’t have any of the above symptoms, take some steps to cool them down as described in point 1 – like moving them to a cool area and making sure they have access to water.
However, if things seem more serious, don’t hesitate – call us IMMEDIATELY on 01264 352323. Our head vet Simon and the rest of the team have lots of experience in dealing with overheated animals and will do our very best to help – but speed is an important factor.