When the mercury rises,
our canine companions need as much care as we do. Excessive exercise in the summer months can lead to heat exhaustion. Keep a close watch on your furry friends, especially the stub-nosed breeds eg Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs etc., these breeds don’t pant as well as dogs with long noses.
Dogs are vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancers. Light coloured noses and exposed ears may require sun-cream. Clear zink or baby sunscreen is suitable, or ‘dog sunscreen’ is available from pet shops. A child's ‘rashy’ can also be used for short coated dogs.
Signs of heat stress may include
If your dog becomes overheated with any of these symptoms, lower his body temperature immediately and seek medical assistance from your vet. This condition can be fatal.
Bring your dog inside.
Distribute a couple of bags of ice on an area, put a towel on it and encourage him to lay on the towel.
Soak a towel in water and place in a cool area.
Put the air conditioner or a fan on.
Monitor his condition, closely. Remember, we have 2 x 24/7 emergency vets in our area.
Provide more than one water bowl. Make sure it can’t be tipped over.
Metal bowls heat up, pottery or ceramic seem to keep the water cooler…..for longer!
Make some large ice cubes and place in the water bowl.
Knots in a long coated dog do not allow air-flow. Matted knots trap the heat and have the potential to overheat your canine companion. Brush them out, cut them out, use a slicker brush or dog rake to remove the knots.
Walk early morning or late evening, to avoid heat temperatures of roads and walkways. Check your dog’s pads. If the ground is too hot for you to walk on, it’s certainly too hot for your dog.
Have a water spray bottle on hand to spray paws and underbelly ONLY. Do not spray the top of your dog, this is like putting an electric blanket on him.
NEVER leave your dog in your car, ever, not even with the window down.
These work well for some canines and not so well for others. It just depends on the individual dog, they certainly are worth a try.
Check and record your dog's weight regularly. A little under weight would be a good recommendation for the summer months.
Swimming & Pools:-
On those super hot days, take your dog in for a swim.
Hold and direct him from the steps out into the pool and back to the steps, placing his feet back firmly on the step area.
Repeat this activity several times, so he understands where to get in and where to get out of the pool. A five minute swim is equal to a half an hour walk.
Supervise pool activity, always.
Dry your dogs coat thoroughly, right down to the skin, then brush.
This nasty bacterial infection appears as weeping red rashes and hair loss on your dog's body, spreading rapidly if not treated.
Insect bites, high humidity, knots and wet weather are the most common causes.
The sap from an Aloe Vera plant rubbed on the affected area three times a day or a trip to your vet, will see rapid relief.