Caring for Your Dog in Hot Weather

Caring for Your Dog in Hot Weather
Quinn, Monty and Brock love the sun, but when they’re outside!
The RSPCA runs a yearly campaign to highlight the risks of leaving dogs closed in cars during the warmer months of the year.  Last year, they received 8779 calls reporting incidents of dogs suffering from heat exposure.  This was fewer than in 2014, when over 10,000 incidents were reported, however, a significant number of dogs still actually die from heatstroke or other complications as a direct result of being locked in a vehicle that rapidly overheats.
The best idea is to leave your dog at home where you know they are safe. Dogs that are kept in a hot car will start with Heatstroke.  Even when the outside temp is just 20 degrees, the temperature inside of a closed car can rise to 45 degree celsius or even hotter in a matter of minutes.
Heatstroke can be fatal. Do everything you can to prevent it. If dogs are unable to reduce their body temperature, they will develop heatstroke. The signs to be aware of are: heavy panting, profuse salivation, a rapid pulse, very red gums/tongue, lethargy, lack of coordination, reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing, vomiting, diarrhea  and loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.
If your dog shows any of these signs, move him/her to a shaded, cool area and contact the Corinium Practice immediately.  Heatstroke can be fatal and should always be treated as an emergency.
Help your dog by doing the following straight away:
·         Shower your dog with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock
·         Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water.
·         Continue to soak your dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle – never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver.
Once you have cooled your dog down you should bring him/her straight down to us.
Top Tips for Warm Weather;
·         -Your dog should always be able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment if he/she is feeling hot.
·         -Never leave your dog alone in a car. If you want to take your dog with you on a car journey, make sure that your destination is dog-friendly – you won’t be able to leave your dog in the car and you don’t want your day out to be ruined!
·         -If you have to leave your dog outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where he/she can escape from the sun at all times of the day.
·         -Make sure your dog always has a good supply of drinking water, in a weighted bowl that can’t be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days and give your dog frequent small amounts.
·         -Never leave your dog in a glass conservatory or a caravan. Even if it is cloudy when you leave, the sun may come out later in the day and make it unbearably hot.
·         -Groom your dog regularly to get rid of excess hair. 
·         -Dogs need exercise – even when it is hot. Walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Never allow your dog to exercise excessively in hot weather.  The ground can also get very hot and can burn their sensitive paw pads.
·         -Dogs can get sunburnt too – particularly those with pink noses or light-coloured fur on their ears.
For more information, contact the team here at
Corinium Vets 01285 652008 email corinium.reception@gmail.com.
Or visit Corinium Vets, Whitworth Road, Cirencester, GL7 1RT

Corinium Vets writes a monthly advice column in Cirencester Scene Magazine.

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