Please note that this is a collection of helpful things, this is NOT a medical or vet approve guide.
If you have any reason to think your pet is in any sort of difficulty then contact your vet ASAP! If you have questions regarding your specific dog then your vet is a good place to go!
Heatstroke is very bad and as the weather starts to heat up it is a good time to take precautions! If you are more organised that me you could start with the precautions beforehand!
Dogs don’t sweat like humans, although they can release some moisture through their pads (feet!) and apparently their nose (according to my vet!). But this moisture release isn’t sufficient to cool them down.
So dogs get rid of excess heat by panting – literally exchanging warm air for the cooler air around them.
Environmental temperatures of 29 ºC or above start posing a problem as there isn’t the cool air to take in.
Easy things to help:
- Don’t leave dogs in car – even on a day which isn’t obviously-sunny as this is still dangerous. Cars get hot a lot faster than you might expect.
- Don’t leave dogs in a conservatory or caravan – this is the same as being left in the car
- Do make sure that dogs have access to shade and plenty of fresh clean water
- Excessive exercising in hot weather is a very a bad idea – timing it for the cooler early mornings and late evenings is safer for everyone.
- Be aware that overweight, very hairy and short nosed dog breeds are more susceptible as they can’t cool down as effectively.
- If the dog likes water then a garden hose with the wide nozzle (aka a gentle spray of water) is a fun game for everyone!
- Regular grooming to remove loose hair
Some common signs of heatstroke:
- Rapid / frantic / excessive panting
- Excessive thirst
- Rapid heart/pulse rate
- Trouble standing or walking
- Thick saliva
- Very dark or red gums
- Dry or sticky gums
- Dizziness and/or disorientation
As ever, if you think you see any signs of distress or being unwell in your dog then contact a vet ASAP!
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