For many of us, our furry friends are fully-fledged members of our family. However, while most members of the family are delighted to bask in the current sunshine we’re having, our four-legged ones are not so accustomed to it.
Sharing her upset when someone left their dog in a car this weekend, dog-lover Louise Cooney urged people to take care of their dogs when temperatures are high.
On her story she wrote:
“Guys please don’t leave dogs in the car today”
“My car just recorded 47 degrees inside, and I just saw a dog in a car with no windows down”
Explaining that a dog should never be left alone in a car – even in the shade and with the windows down, Dogs Trust Ireland says that even just a few minutes in a warm car can be fatal for your dog.
“Never leave your dog alone in a car, no matter what the weather is like. Even just a few minutes can prove fatal to them”
“On a 22-degree Celsius day, the temperature inside your car can rise by 11 degrees in just 10 minutes. Opening a window or parking in the shade does very little to offset this”
Sharing advice for what you can do if you find a dog suffering inside a car, they said:
“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 and once the dog has been safely removed from the car, seek veterinary attention immediately.”
Aside from not leaving dogs in a car alone, there are plenty of other things we can do to keep our little ones comfortable this summer. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider.
Seven Second Test
When trying to decide if it’s safe enough to walk your dog, press your hand down on the tarmac/ground for 7 seconds and see how it feels. If it’s too hot for your hand, chances are it’s far too hot for little paws, so give the walk a miss!
To cool your doggie down during the hottest times of the day, get creative with their treats. There are plenty of recipes online on how to create mini frozen treats and pupsicles. If your dog wouldn’t enjoy a pupsicle, you could always freeze some small treats or dry food in an ice cube and turn it into a fun game for your dog to lick them out. While you’re at it, make sure to have plenty of ice cubes frozen so you can pop them into their water bowl throughout the day too.
If you can’t get your dog out for their usual exercise because of the heat, why not turn their ‘exercise’ into a fun activity instead? You could set up a paddling pool in the garden, grab a water gun or hose and turn cooling them down into a game. Just be sure to have a spot in the shade for them to relax in afterward.
As for actual walks
Most dogs are still eager to get outside each day, regardless of how warm it is. So, if you want to walk your dog, it’s recommended that you do it during cool times of the day. This could be early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is setting.
Dogs Trust has also outlined signs of heatstroke to look out for in dogs. They include the following:
- Excessive or rapid panting
- Red gums and tongue
- Heavy salivation
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
If you believe that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, seek veterinary attention immediately.
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