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Dogs And The Heat

Parent Category: Dog Talk
Created: 24 July 2014

Here in the UK when we have some very blue skies, beautiful sunshine and it’s warming up, we are mindful that whether we are off out with our dogs or we will be leaving them at home, then there are some extra things to think about.

Especially if we have a weekend of sunshine to look forward to (or even a bank holiday weekend at some times of the year), after what seems like an age being cooped up at home, we are often off out in our cars by the thousand to enjoy the great outdoors with our family and our dogs – having fun at the seaside, in parks or in the open countryside.

There’s nothing nicer, with any Season in full flow, than enjoying the show that nature has put on for us… the beautiful flowers and the fresh smells. And our dogs love nothing better than fresh scent trails to follow and exciting different places to explore (ours particularly love the woods – with different smells plus rabbit and squirrel trails to follow, to say the least).

Do bear in mind that your dogs don’t sweat like we do, they cool down by panting and if you see your dog drooling excessively, bear in mind that they may be in danger of dehydration. It is always better to cut down on exercise generally and exercise your dog(s) in the earlier, cooler part of the day or in the evening. It is important to know that if the pavement or road you are walking on is too hot for your bare feet, then it can easily burn your dog’s paws — especially those of a puppy or young dog whose paws are not yet fully hardened!

Even on short walks when it is warmer, carry a drink for your dog — we have a number of these travel water bottle/​bowls for when we are not in the car but want to carry a drink:

Of course some of us may be off out leaving our pooches at home…

When the weather outlook is sunny and warm, it’s time to remind ourselves to take extra care and ensure that wherever we keep our dogs, that they have access to a cool place in the shade and of course, more than usual, they will need plenty of fresh drinking water.

At home

For those who leave their dogs at home, it is worth remembering that it can even get dangerously hot for our dogs in the garden/​yard as well as in enclosed porches and conservatories; they need some well-​ventilated shade so that they can out of the direct heat wherever they are; and they need access to sufficient fresh drinking water.

Animal welfare organisations (including the RSPCA in the UK) regularly get calls from ‘concerned citizens’ with information about people who have left their dogs for too long somewhere without shade and not enough water! Obviously this is not only extremely cruel and can lead to a very sick dog, but also it can lead to confiscation of the dog and prosecution of the owner!

In the car

We know that dogs can die from heatstroke in as little as 20 minutes if left in a car – and we can’t believe that owners want to face at the very least a warning and perhaps confiscation of their dog and prosecution if the relevant authorities find that they have left their dogs alone in vehicles for more than a few minutes!

Most people will know that cars quickly become like an oven, even when it’s cloudy! When the temperature is only 22°C/72°F outside, inside a car it can quickly rise to around 50°C/122°F (or even higher) – very obviously DANGEROUSLY hot for anyone who can’t get out of a hot metal box, let alone a dog!

Even if you are leaving windows open, it is an idea to use window shades. As ever, it is also good to make sure that there is access to plenty of fresh drinking water when there is no cool spot for your dog (some say that little more than a couple of minutes alone in a hot car can still spell disaster for a dog).

We always used to carry a water bowl with a built in bottle… now we particularly like a travel bowl that is bigger and more or less spill proof — and when we’re on our longer trips, we carry a 5l bottle of water too for our stops, just in case there is no fresh water available in the service areas we stop at. Here are some images of the two types, in case you have no idea what I’m talking about:

 

The only way a dog can cool down is to pant – they don’t sweat – so if you see that your dog is panting excessively, you may understand that they need to cool down!

We know from experience that the colour of your car can also make a difference as to how quickly the temperature inside will rise; some colours reflect the heat better than others.

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Be Safe With Your Dogs!