Now that summer is upon us, it is as important as ever to keep our dogs cool in the heat. The majority of us are aware not to leave our precious puppers in hot cars whilst nipping to the supermarket, and to avoid walking our furry-legged friends in the midday afternoon heat. However, this does happen on a daily basis. If you do chance across any dogs being left in a hot car when you are out and about, and they appear to be in distress, please dial 999 and report it to the police and get their advice on what to do next. It may be tempting to break the windows to let the dog out, however, this could lead to an unwanted and unexpected reaction from the pup in question. Like their humans, our canine companions can also suffer from heatstroke during extreme temperatures.
When taking your dog out for a walk, it's best to go early in the morning or late in the evening. So, how hot is too hot? As a rule of thumb, if you press your palm on the pavement, tarmac or asphalt, and you can feel the heat after five seconds, then this is too hot for your dog to walk on. Dogs sweat through their paws and noses, and walking on hot surfaces can lead to cracked and blistered pads which may require veterinary treatment. Also, if a dog is panting, they will only drink water once they have stopped panting. If your dog is excessively panting, drooling, is vomitting or has diarrhea and appears to be confused and uncoordinated, these are symptoms of heatstroke and a vet appointment will probably be needed. Please, please, please try not to go running or cycling with your dog either on sunny days. Your dog may do their level best to try and keep up with you, however it is unfair on them to have to cope with this during intense heat.
If you have a brachycephalic breed, for example a dog with a flat face and short snout, such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boxers, or English Bulldogs, extra care should be taken when walking them in hot weather, due to their propensity to struggle to breathe. If you are going to take them out, a lead and harness rather than a collar and lead is best. Using a harness as opposed to a collar relieves pressure from around their necks and doesn't restrict their airways.
Paddling pools are a fun way of getting a dog to cool down, especially if your garden has the space for one. Place it in the shade, avoid overfilling it and use tepid not ice cold water. When your pup is hot and jumps into a freezing cold pool, this can cause them to go into shock too. The size of the pool you get will be depend on the size of your dogs.
Cooling mats, coats and towels are another popular way of keeping your pooch's temperature down when inside the house. Mats and coats are filled with a cooling gel, and when your dog lies on it, the mat absorbs their body temperature. The mats and coats can be used again and are suitable for using in crates too.
See https://www.ancol.co.uk/dog/dog-sleep/dog-sleep-beds/medium-cooling-mat-45x90cm/ for their range of cooling mats and coats. and https://www.aquamatdog.com/product/cooling-inc-coats-bandanas-and-towels/ for cooling towels and bandanas.
And for delicious doggy desserts, check out https://frozzys.com/ and https://www.judes.com/about-us/the-scoop/plant-based-and-totally-pawsome for plant based and dairy free ice cream.
Take good care of you and I'll take good care of me xxx
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