RSPCA Top Tips to Keep your Pet Cool
- Make sure that wherever your dog is, he/she is always able to move into a cooler ventilated environment if he/she is feeling hot.
- Never leave your dog alone in a glass conservatory or a caravan. Even if it is cloudy when you leave the sun may come out later in the day and make it unbearably hot.
- If your dog is outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where he/she can escape from the sun at all times of the day.
- Make sure your dog always has a good supply of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that cannot be knocked over. Carry water with you on a hot days and give your dog frequent small amounts.
- Groom your dog regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of the summer, and later in the season, if necessary.
- Dogs need exercise even when it is hot. Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Never allow your dog to exercise excessively in hot weather.
- Dogs can get sunburned too – particularly those with light-coloured noses or light-coloured fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.
HEATSTROKE EARLY WARNING SIGNS
If dogs are too hot and are unable to reduce their body temperature they will develop heatstroke. In warm weather, heatstroke can be caused by leaving your dog somewhere that is too hot, or by allowing it to exercise excessively.
Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke. For example, dogs with short snouts, fatter or heavily muscled dogs and long haired breeds, as well as very old or very young dogs. Dogs with certain diseases are more prone to heatstroke, as are dogs on certain medications.
SOME SIGNS TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE
- Heavy Panting
- Profuse salivation
- A Rapid pulse
- Very red gums/tongue
- Lack of coordination
- Reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
- Loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.
HEATSTROKE FIRST AID
If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move him/her to a shaded cool area and ring your vet for advice immediately. Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency. Dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature gradually lowered.
- Immediately douse your dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock – you could put your dog in a shower and run cool water over him/her, or use a spray, filled with cool water and place your dog in the breeze of a fan.
- Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water
- Continue to douse your dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle – never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver.
Once you have cooled your dog down you should take him/her straight to the veterinary surgery.
DUTY OF CARE
Under the Animal Welfare Act, you have a legal duty to care for your animals and if you put them at risk, you could face prosecution. You would also have to live with the fact that your thoughtless action resulted in terrible suffering for your pet;