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TIPS & INFORMATION

KEEPING YOUR DOG COOL IN SUMMER


The following information has been provided by: Reservoir Veterinary Clinic

Keep Cool!


After a long cold winter, most of us are anxious to enjoy the warm days of summer. Working outside working in the garden, enjoying a visit to the beach, or just taking a nice long walk with the family pet. Besides planning ahead for warm weather activities, we also need to plan ahead to keep our pets safe from the summer heat too.

Every summer, heatstroke keeps vets on their toes, as a large portion of pets that are affected by this condition require veterinary attention.

The best way to keep your pet safe during the warmer months is to avoid the circumstances that lead to heatstroke.

 
  • NEVER leave your pet in a closed vehicle, even for a few minutes.
  • Keep-fit pooches should only be exercised during the cooler periods of the day, and keep a watch out for hot asphalt.
  • Shed those furry coats – whilst most pets naturally shed their fur at this time of year, have your long haired pets clipped now.
  • Make sure your pet can find a cool spot to snooze comfortably during the day.
  • Consider a shallow splash pool for your pooch to play in during a long hot day. Keep the water cool by filling a plastic soda bottle with water, freezing it and floating it in the pool.
  • Ensure your pet has access to fresh, clean water (in the shade) - you can even place ice cubes to keep it cool.
  • Apply sunscreen on tender areas on dogs with light pigment or thin hair - we recommend Sunstop for Pets - avoid zinc based products.


How do you know if your pet is suffering from the symptoms of heatstroke?

Look out for:

  • excessive panting and drooling,
  • difficulties with breathing,
  • a general display of agitation; and
  • in extreme cases their gums will appear blue or bright red and they may collapse.

What to do if your pet shows any of these symptoms?

  • Cool your pet immediately by immersing him/her in a cold water bath, or soak him/her with running water from a hose. If possible use a fan or air-conditioner to maintain airflow over your wet pet. It is important to reduce your pet’s temperature quickly. Do not use ice or extremely cold water as this may cause a catastrophic drop in temperature.
  • Contact your vet immediately – it is only in mild cases that the initial home cooling will be adequate treatment, and in most cases intensive care is required, possibly involving intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy and intensive monitoring.