The summer can be a dangerous time for dogs.
It’s something we hear again and again, every time the warm weather strikes – “Don’t leave dogs in hot vehicles”. But each time the weather warms up a bit and we start to slap on the sun cream, it’s just as important to remember to protect your dog.
Dogs die in hot cars every year and the RSPCA regularly warns the public that leaving the window open is not enough to stop the temperature rising.
Quote Me Today urges all of its customers who take their dogs with them on business or domestic journeys to leave them at home altogether on warm days.
Just remember it doesn’t need to be a heatwave for a dog to die in a hot car or van. Even if you leave your dog in your car or van for just an hour while you’re in a business meeting or with a client, the temperature inside the vehicle can rise to 47˚C – even when it’s just 22˚C outside.
If you are caught out and do leave your dog in your vehicle on a warm day and it starts to show the early warning signs of heat stroke, which include salivation, excessive panting, dark red gums and seizures, give them some water and take them to the vet immediately.
Keeping your pet cool
If the temperatures start to rise, there are several things you can do to keep your dog cool.
Dogs feel the heat as much as we do so make sure you keep your four-legged friend well-hydrated with a bowl of fresh water available at all times. Good things to think about to stop your dog overheating are to move their basket to a cooler place in the house. This could be a well-ventilated room. Close the blinds to stop sunlight coming in and keep the windows shut for as long as you can to prevent hot air entering the room. Other ideas include freezing water or chicken stock, with toys or treats inside, to make an ice treat that dogs can lick to help them keep cool.
Also when you walk your dog, try and do this first thing in the morning before the temperature rises or wait until the evening when the sun has gone down and the temperature is cooler. This avoids any unnecessary physical exertion and will help you and your dog stay cool.
Finally, remember that if you leave your dog outside while you’re out, it’s absolutely essential to provide a cool, shady place where it can shelter from the sun at all times of the day and plenty of fresh water.
The RSPCA’s website has more information on how to look after your pets in the hot weather and what to do if you see a dog in a hot car with no sign of the owner.