Hot Weather and Dogs – What You Need to Know

Image by shamyiukuen from Pixabay
Dogs love to lie in front of a cool fan in the Summer.

The UK is facing a RED WEATHER ALERT for the weekend of July 16th 2022. So, what does that mean for us and our dogs?

My first piece of advice for you is, Do Not Go Out in the Hot Weather unless you really need to. Our emergency services are already stretched to the point where they are unable to cope, so please don’t be selfish and potentially add to that burden. Also remember out of hours veterinary calls can be expensive and sometimes hard to get, so please don’t put your dog at risk if you don’t need to.  If you do go out, please do not take your dog.

This is especially important for Puppies and short nosed breeds such as Pugs and French Bull Dogs.

In my interview here with James Hanson on the Radio Bristol Breakfast show, I share the dangers of taking dogs out in hot weather as well as the unknown side effects of giving too much water in the effort of keeping our dogs cool.

Most of us know that prevention is better than cure and that is also the case when it come to avoiding heatstroke with us and our doggies. When a dog starts to overheat it can affect it’s brain and major organs so we really need to make sure it doesn’t happen. Many effects of heat stroke are very scary and can repeat when we become hot again.

So, if you are staying home what ways can you keep your doggies cool?

Ice is our friend: we can place it in our dog’s water to keep the water bowl and water nice and cold. We can also place ice in a tea towel and gently rub our dogs down with it. Be careful of letting your dogs crunch ice cubes as this may break teeth. There are also lots of lovely cooling blankets, neckerchiefs available from various pet and home stores.

We need to be careful of water! Don’t let your dog gulp down loads of water in one go, especially after exercise! This can cause vomiting and in some cases Bloat, which can cause a rapid death. Water should be given in small amounts and often. Hosing down your dog is not a good way to keep your canine companion cool. A dog’s coat is its insulation system and is critical in keeping its body at the correct temperature. If you soak a dog in water, it will not be able to dissipate heat properly through its coat. I like to just let my doggies get their feet and bellies wet in a paddling pool.

Cool treats: Giving your dog something cool to chew on will also help. How about slicing carrots long ways and putting them in the freezer for a nice cool chewy snack? These are especially great for teething puppies! You can also freeze things like chicken broth into ice cubes and give those when Fido feels hot. They won’t be so hard to chew as pure ice as they have more ingredients. Or why not make these lovely doggies popsicles?

We know that our dogs love a hot fire in the summer, well they also love to lie in front of a cool fan in the Summer. Just be careful of the cord…. especially with puppies.

What if my dog gets too hot?

Here are the signs of heatstroke in dogs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Lying on one side and panting heavily with its tongue out
  • Tears or water coming from its eyes
  • Restlessness or agitation, pacing, seeking shade or water
  • Red gums or tongue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

If you see any of these symptoms, immediately remove your dog from the heat source and get them to some shade. If you can, place them in front of a fan on a cool floor to reduce the body temperature. You can place cold water or ice on the feet and ears. CALL THE VET as soon as possible and advise what is happening. They will tell you what to do next. You should also have a thermometer handy so you can give the vet the dog’s temperature when on the phone. Learn how to take your dog’s temperature here:

I always have a “bendy ended” digital thermometer in the home or with me if we go out.

Do you have any cool weather tips for dogs? Maybe you have some yummy recipes that keep your doggies cool. Share them with me in the comments below:

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