It has been so hot in the UK this week that Vinnie has been really struggling. Imagine how your dog must be feeling. It is so important to try and keep them cool, to not walk them in extreme heat or to leave them alone in a car.
Dogs die in hot cars so please don’t leave your dog in a car even just for a few minutes. Even if the window is down it can have severe consequences.
Heatstroke can be fatal to dogs, especially puppies, older dogs and brachycephalic dogs. Signs of heatstroke include a racing heart, red, blue or purple gums, lethargy, extreme panting or drooling and collapse.
If you think you dog is suffering from heatstroke try cooling the area, put your dog on a cool, damp towel, try and encourage them to drink sips of tepid water, rub their legs and paws to encourage circulation and contact a vet immediately.
Thankfully there are lots of things you can do to keep your dog cool. There are products you can buy such as a cooling mat, cooling banadana, cooling vest and cooling jacket. There are also lots of things you can do at home including having a shaded area in the garden, have a cool area in the house, use a fan or air con unit, wet a towel and encourage your dog to lay on it, make sure fresh water is available at all times, put ice in the water to cool it, set up a paddling pool but make sure the water is cool as it can heat up in the sun, discourage physical activity (including walks) and feed food frozen.
Walking your dog in extreme heat can be very dangerous so consider doing enrichment in the home instead. You can have short training sessions, set up free work, use brain training games or make puzzle toys with things you have at home.
Some examples of homemade enrichent include:
- putting food in a toilet roll tube and folding it at both ends
- putting food in a kitchen roll tube then put papaer in each end
- putting food in an egg box and close it
- putting food in newspaper and scrunch it up
- putting food in a teatowel and roll it up.
You might find your dog enjoys shredding the paper once it has eaten the food too, if so let them do it.
Always supervise your dog when taking part in enrichment.
Whether you love the sun or you hate it, make sure your 4 legged friend is safe.