Here we are in the midst of the summer; hopefully you’re all taking some time to make the most of the warmer weather and light nights by getting out and about and enjoying the beautiful Moray coastline and countryside.
These days we’re all far more aware of the damaging effects of the sun and are more likely to cover up or apply suitable sunscreen in hot weather.
But as well as looking after ourselves and our children, our dogs need to be protected from the heat, too.
Dogs are far more susceptible to heat stroke than we are. They do not sweat through their skin; but release heat primarily by panting and sweating through their foot pads and nose. If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, its internal body temperature begins to rise causing heat stroke.
This is a very serious condition in dogs and its onset can often take you by surprise, escalating into an emergency situation in a matter of minutes.
Common situations that can set the stage for heat stroke in dogs include:
Obviously some breeds are much more susceptible to the heat than others. Dogs with thick double-coats such as Chows, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds , have a harder time beating the heat. Also dogs with pushed-in faces, such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Boxers, have smaller airways, and therefore have less of an ability to blow out hot air.
There’s plenty you can do to prevent heat stroke in dogs. The obvious things are providing your dog with access to the shade and having cool water to drink. NEVER leave dogs in a car, during a warm spell – even with the window open. Plan to exercise your dog either early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is much cooler.
I run a company called Dogrobess so I meet dog owners every week and recently whilst I was at the GWCT Scottish Game Fairone owner described to me how he used his dogrobe to keep his dog cool, while holidaying in the Dordogne, when it was 35 degrees.. He simply……….wet the dogrobe in cold water, squeezed out the excess moisture before fitting it on his dog Molly to keep her cool.”
I thought that this was such a good Idea that I wanted to share it with you. Now obviously if you don’t have a Dogrobe you could use an old towel to do this, but keeping it on your dog might be a bit tricky. If it’s anything like mine it would wriggle out of a towel in no time.
It’s an effective way to cool a dog down, and the damp dogrobe need only be worn for a short period to gain the benefits, and can be refreshed in cold water as necessary.
It sounds a simple way to enable you and your dog to have fun in the sun without the dangers of your pet becoming overheated.
If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, cool him down as quickly as you can and call your vet immediately.
Enjoy the summer, and remember cool dogs are happy dogs!
Margaret Reynolds – Dogrobes.co.uk