#CoolToBeKind – Hot Weather Advice
Tips to Stay Cool this Summer
As the weather starts to heat up, we’ve got some tips on how you can help keep your dog safe and happy this Summer! Heatstroke is a real danger for our furry friends as they can’t regulate their body temperature the same way as we can and so it’s important to take preventative steps to ensure your dog stays cool in hot weather. It’s always #CoolToBeKind, so check out our tips on how you can keep your dog cool this summer!
- Never leave your dog alone in a car. Even just a few minutes can prove fatal to them. On a 22-degree Celsius day, the temperature can rise by 11 degrees in just 10 minutes and opening a window or parking in the shade does very little to offset this.
- Try to exercise your dog in the cooler parts of the day such as early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t so hot. Make sure not to over-do it either!
- Don’t forget to bring plenty of water for your dog to drink when you are exercising them – pop-up transportable bowls are great for when you’re out and about with your pooch!
- Make sure your dog has a constant supply of water to drink at home too. You can even put a couple of ice cubes into their bowl to keep the temperature cooler for longer.
- Another great way to make sure your dog stays hydrated is by freezing some of their favourite toys in water or making an ice-lick with frozen treats inside. This will encourage them to lick the ice which will help to hydrate them!
- Make sure your dog always has a nice shaded spot both indoors and outdoors where they can escape the heat of the sun. On especially hot days, you can put out a damp towel for them to lie on to keep them even cooler. Make sure to replace or rewet it often though, as it can dry out quickly.
- It can also be a good idea to clip back particularly hairy dogs’ fur, so they won’t get as hot.
- If possible, avoid long car journeys with your dog, especially during the hottest parts of the day and try to avoid busy roads where you might get stuck in traffic. You can use a car sunblind to provide your dog with some shade while you’re driving!
When it comes to sun safety, don’t forget that just like humans, dogs can get sunburnt too, so try to limit the amount of sun exposure they’re getting. Be especially careful with dogs that have white or very thin fur as they can get burned more easily. If you’re considering using pet-friendly sunscreen, always seek the advice of a registered vet beforehand.
Heatstroke in Dogs
Even when taking all the above steps, it’s important to be aware of the visible signs of heatstroke and what to do if you suspect your dog might be suffering from it.
Signs of heatstroke can include any number of the following:
- Excessive or rapid panting
- Increased body temperature
- Uncoordinated movement or collapse
- Altered or loss of consciousness
- Loss of vision
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Seizures or coma
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, quickly take the following steps:
- Seek veterinary attention straight away, the sooner this is done, the better chance your dog has of making a full recovery
- Don’t delay in moving your dog to a cool or shaded area and use a wet towel or water spray to gently cool the external skin temperature down
- Offer your dog small amounts of cool water to help bring their temperature down further
- If you are driving to the vet, make an active attempt to cool the car on the way by driving with the windows down or air-conditioning on. This should help to further reduce your dog’s core temperature
If You See a Dog Alone in a Car
Never ever leave your dog alone in a car. Even if the car is parked in the shade and the windows are left open, it does very little to keep the temperature in the car low.
If you see a dog alone in a car, have a look around for the owner. If you cannot see the owner and you are worried the dog may be suffering from heatstroke, report the situation to the local Garda Station. Stay with the dog until the Gardaí arrive. Once the dog has been safely removed from the car, seek veterinary attention immediately.
We hope you and your dog enjoy the summer months and warmer weather this year and always remember it’s #CoolToBeKind!