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Help your dog keep its cool in summer weather

Warning poster from the RSPCA.
Warning poster from the RSPCA.

While we all bask in the most unusual weather of glorious sunshine, we must remember that, like us, our pets and livestock need additional access to water and shade.

We would advise that people don’t walk their dogs during the day when it is very hot, but in the early morning or evening when it is cooler.

Every year we, unfortunately, have to deal with someone having left their dog in the car for too long in the sun. A collapsed dog with heat stroke is a medical emergency.

Please take note of the RSPCA campaign to educate people as to the dangers of leaving your beloved pet in your car, caravan or camper van.

Dogs usually reduce their temperature by panting, rather than sweating. Heatstroke occurs when an animal gets too hot and is unable to reduce its body temperature effectively, and it can be fatal.

Clinical signs to look out for include the dog panting heavily and often drooling excessively. Dogs can be lethargic or uncoordinated, they may also vomit and may even collapse.

If your dog shows any of these signs, move them to cool place and telephone your local surgery.

Please don’t throw ice cold water over your dog as this can induce shock and may make its condition worse. It is better to use towels or blankets soaked in cold water and place these on your dog.

Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke than others. Very young and old animals may be affected, as are those with a thick, heavy coat and the brachycephalic breeds, such as French bulldogs and pugs, which are becoming increasingly popular as pets.

If your pet suffers from a heart problem, take extra care with not allowing them to exert themselves in the heat.

Hopefully, by keeping this in mind we will all be able to enjoy this beautiful summer weather.