It's heating up over here! Forecasters are predicting that Britain is in for a stunner of a Spring heatwave! This is great for those of us who want to hit the beach or spread out in the garden to pick up a nice tan, but it can be a hot mess for our dogs!
Dogs tend to not do very well in high temperatures, they can't cool down quickly enough through sweating which means they can quickly begin to overheat! Long haired breeds and dogs that can't find shade or cool spots are especially vulnerable! Despite big publicity about the importance of allowing your dog to cool down every year, loads of dogs in Britain still die every year as a result of heatstroke or overheating.
To try and help bring these heat related deaths down, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the British Small Animals Veterinary Association have laid out some simple guidelines, and here they are:
- Don't Leave dogs in vehicles.
- Make sure they always plenty of water to drink.
- Make sure your dog has adequate ventilation, a fan or somewhere with a cool breeze.
- Avoid strenuous exercise while it's boiling outside, save the long walks for the cooler evenings.
- Make sure your dog always has some shade to relax and cool down in.
- Watch out for some early signs of heatstroke, like heavy panting, restlessness, and lack of co-ordination.
- Contact a vet immediately if your pet does not respond when you try to cool them down.
Following simple, logical steps towards keeping your dog cooler can really help to avoid your dog getting too hot! The simple steps above are some of easiest ways to help your dog stay cool.
What should I do if my dog is too hot?
Detecting if your dog is getting too hot early is key, if you suspect that your dog is suffering, here's some simple steps you can take:
- Take your dog to a cool, well ventilated area.
- Give them plenty of cool water to drink.
- Perhaps cool them with a fan.
- Cover them with a cool, wet towel.
If your dog doesn't respond to these attempts to cool them, or if they become unresponsive or they lose consciousness, you should contact your vet immediately!
Are some dogs more vulnerable than others?
It varies, but some dogs are better at cooling naturally than others. Some dogs who may be more vulnerable are:
- Older dogs.
- Dogs with respiratory problems.
- Longer haired breeds and even breeds with darker fur colours.