Lifesaving Hot Weather Tips for Dogs
Living in the UK, we’re used to changing weather patterns, and even though most of the time it’s clouded over and drizzling rain, sometimes we experience weather like at the moment: hot, hot, hot!
While we’re all dusting off our flip-flops and our buckets and spades, it’s important to spare a thought for our animal companions. With the temperature expected to reach 30 degrees this weekend and high temperatures across the UK expected to continue into next week, I want to offer some great lifesaving tips on caring for dogs. Please share this vital information with anyone you know who has an animal companion:
- Keep dogs inside: Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress and be physically damaging or fatal.
- Water and shade: If dogs must be left outside, they should be supplied with ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Where is the animal when you are at work? Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun during a heat wave can have life-threatening consequences.
- Walk, don’t run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them. They can quickly become severely overheated, and an “exercise” session can turn into a medical emergency.
- Avoid parked cars: Never, ever leave a dog in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.
- Hot pavement: Dogs’ footpads easily burn on heated roads, pavement and sand. Test the road surface with your hand before walking a dog while the sun is out.
- Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all outdoor dogs. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see a dog in distress, contact the RSPCA right away and give the dog immediate relief by providing water.
“When in doubt, don’t leave your dogs out”, says PETA Special Projects Manager Mimi Bekhechi. “When heat waves like this strike, it’s better to be safe than sorry and keep your animal companions indoors.”
Please share this important information with anyone you know who may have an animal companion during this life-threatening hot weather.