With the summer now well and truly upon us, dog owners need to be aware that heat can prove fatal to their pets, especially large dogs with heavy coats.
Despite all the warnings, however, people still leave dogs in cars, which is very dangerous as the temperature in cars can rise rapidly. Conservatories and caravans are other danger areas as they too heat up quickly.
Some types of dogs are more susceptible to heat, including larger dogs like Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Bulldogs and Pugs are also particularly vulnerable, due to their restricted breathing.
The RSPCA advises that during the summer, a dog should be walked in the early morning and late evening.
Pavements can become hot, which causes stress to a dog and the message is "If it’s too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for your dog's paws".
The RSPCA recommends using pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of a dog’s skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. This is especially important if your dog has white or light coloured fur.
Here are more helpful tips:
- Ensure dogs always have access to shade and fresh drinking water.
- Check them every day for fly strike, a nasty infection from flies.
- Put ice cubes into your dog's water bowl or make ice cube treats to keep your pets cool.
- Provide damp towels for your dog to lie on or an ice pack wrapped in a towel.
- If you are planning a day out with your dog, check before leaving home whether dogs are allowed.
- Regular grooming in warmer weather can help brush away any dead or excess hair, leaving your dog with a less dense coat - much better for staying cool.
- Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in, although not all dogs like water so there's no need to force them if they don't want to.
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