Most, if not all, dogs can’t resist the lure of water, especially on a hot day. However beware of letting them go into ponds or rivers where algae – a blue-green or green paint-like scum – is growing. Some types produce toxins that can be irritants, or even lethally poisonous. And do not forget that although most dogs like water, not all dogs are good swimmers! Dogs can and do drown in rivers and the sea. If your pet has a near drowning experience they should see a vet, as complications can develop following inhalation of water.
It’s all too easy to forget that dogs are not as good as humans at dealing with hot weather and they can easily overheat, especially if they are enjoying a game chasing after a stick or a ball. Some simple precautions can stop this happening. Exercise them in the mornings and evenings when the weather is cooler and, if they are a long haired breed, get them a trim for the summer. Also make sure you always take water with you, even on a relatively short walk, just in case. On really hot days if they are playing, make sure they have a break every few minutes and give them a cooling spray with a hose when you get back. Lastly, learn how to take your dogs temperature, by the time a dog is exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke, it’s often too late.
Hot Cars & Spaces
You should not leave your dog in the car for even a minute on a sunny day even with the window slightly open. The same also applies to hot, airless rooms such as a conservatory. At 25 degrees Celsius, dogs in hot cars begin to pant excessively within 2 minutes and can die in less than 15 minutes.
You should also take care if going on a long journey on a hot day especially if you carry your dog behind the rear seats – remember they are surrounded by more glass than you are. If you have air conditioning make sure you use it and direct the airflow towards your pet. If you don’t, drive with the window down – the air will help them pant and cool off. Whatever you do, make sure you have plenty of water and take regular breaks.
When we go out in the sun we plaster ourselves with sun cream, but do we ever do the same for our four legged friends? All hairless breeds and dogs that have been clipped should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. Breeds such as terriers, spaniels, Chihuahuas, Doberman pinschers and other shorthaired dogs, as well as all breeds with white or pink skin, are at high risk from sunburn.
Dogs are pretty good at finding shade but if you know where you are going doesn’t have much, when hiking or boating perhaps, then take along either a special sunblock from your vet or use unscented waterproof sunscreen of at least factor 15. It is also a good idea to keep dogs indoors or well shaded areas between 10.00am and 4.00pm when the sun is at its fiercest.
We hope you have found these few simple precautions from We Love Pets helpful in making enjoying the great outdoors in Spring and Summer with your pet safer and less of a worry. If you have any other concerns please contact one of our specialist dog walking teams near you, we will always help to put the safety of your pet first.