Monday, 16 July 2018

Summer In Costa Del Southend

As this glorious summer sunshine continues, Social Media is awash with information and advice how to prevent our precious dogs from suffering in the heat and, worst case scenario, putting their lives at risk from heatstroke.
Take Shady Walks Near Water
Sadly I feel much of this advice being shared and promoted is largely preaching to the converted - why else would we continue to see tragic examples of what can happen? But dogs are my livelihood and their welfare central to what I do, so if reiterating some of this advice here saves even one life, here goes:
  • Whilst Temperatures remain above 22 Degrees Centigrade do not leave your dog in the car. Not even in the shade. Or with the windows open and water available. Don't do it.
Try and keep car journeys with the dog to short distances only. Have the air conditioning on as cold as possible. If you MUST travel any distance make regular pit stops and have plenty of water on hand.

Walk Fido early morning/evening when it is cooler and preferably in shady areas &/or where there is water available for a quick dunk or drink.

Remember tarmac gets HOT under the sun and could burn your pup's bare paws, or at least make them very sore. So try and keep the dog on the turf or dirt tracks as much as possible.

Signs of distress due to heat include excessive panting/extreme thirst/vomiting/bright red tongue & pale gums/neck skin does not snap back into place when pinched.

With a little bit of common sense heatstroke should be easy to avoid with a basically healthy dog and remember - panting is a dog's normal response to heat as an alternative to sweating as we do, so no need to over-react but watch out if it is combined with any of the other symptoms listed. Senior dogs, puppies or dogs with underlying health problems are most vulnerable in the heat. If you think your dog is struggling  here are some steps you can take immediately:
  1. Take the dog at once to a cool area - one of the best places ironically, is a car with the motor running and the air conditioning on full blast.
  2. Dogs will often lay on cold floors to help cool down so pour cold water over the belly and groin to help reduce the core temperature. Do NOT immerse the dog in freezing cold water, the shock could cause adverse reactions.
  3. Offer the dog plenty of water to drink. Do NOT give it ice cubes or ice creams which again may cause and adverse reaction.
  4. As soon as possible take the animal for a thorough vet check.



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