Hot Weather Advice
'Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun’
Hot weather coupled with dogs and children spending long periods outdoors, can lead to bite incidents taking place. Dogs can suffer heat exhaustion a symptom of which is irritability, that along with the long school holidays meaning the presence of children racing around or squealing in a paddling pool can result in a bite incident, as can family barbeques where food and is present, perhaps music is blaring, and the dogs owners are otherwise engaged. A larger number of people than usual are present and enter and leave the premises at will, a door left open can lead to the dog escaping, being stolen or being involved in an incident or accident for which the owner will be legally responsible for.Visitors may also not be comfortable with or know how to act around dogs. It is the owners responsibility both legally and morally to ensure that their dog is not put in the position where an incident could take place, and thought should be given to putting the dog into a quiet room during parties or gatherings.
As soon as the weather becomes warmer it seems as if the dog population has risen, dogs who have been walked around the block during the winter months are taken to the beach, local beauty spots or the countryside, but its important to remember that hot weather affects dogs in many ways.
It can cause irritability leading to bite incidents and even death for your pet. Even a short walk during the hottest part of the day can cause heat stroke which causes the dogs core temperature to rise rapidly, unfortunately if this happens on a walk it is often fatal before a dog can be taken to a vet.
All breeds of dogs can suffer in the heat, white dogs or dogs with white ears or faces can suffer horrific sunburn, Black absorbs heat so black dogs can succumb to heat stroke far quicker than a different coloured dog in the same situation as can long coated breeds, and dogs with very short muzzles such as bulldogs or pugs can struggle to breathe as the mucus membranes in the tongue , mouth and throat swell in order to attempt to cool them.
Foot pads can also be damaged due to being walked on extremely hot floor surfaces and tarmac. Yet still we see the seasonal droves of people heading out at midday for a stroll with a heavily panting dog trailing at the end of a lead. Please please please take dogs out only in the early morning or late evening, your dogs life is a very high price to pay for the sake of a midday stroll.
Heat exhaustion is often caused by over-exercising or running with a dog during hot weather it can occur even in the early evening so care should be taken with the nature of the exercise given during the summer months. Both heatstroke and heat exhaustion can result in brain damage, heart failure or even death in a short period of time. Again short muzzled or thick-coated breeds and mixes are particularly vulnerable, although any breed may be at risk, particularly black dogs.
Always bring cool water along when walking with your dog during hot weather. To cool off an overheated dog, offer him plenty of water, then wet the dog's body and paws with cool water, then fan. A dog's normal internal body temperature is between 100.5 degrees F and 02 degrees F. Signs to watch for are: heavy, loud breathing, staggering gait, bright red gum tissue and tongue.
If heatstroke is suspected, try to cool your dog down as quickly as possible with cool but not cold water, so as not to shock the dogs system and seek veterinary care quickly as this is a serious medical emergency.
Please do not allow your dogs off lead near a canal as the high sides prevent your dog being able to climb out if he should fall in.