14 January 2014
In the midst of summer, it's important to remember to keep your dog cool in the searing temperatures.
Here are a few tips from our Seeing Eye Dogs trainers:
- Please do not leave your dog unsupervised in any type of car, for any period of time (even seconds). The temperature inside a car during extreme weather can kill a dog in a matter of minutes. Dogs cannot regulate their temperature the way that people can, so leaving the windows open won't assist as they can still overheat. Leaving the air conditioner on is also dangerous because the engine may cut out because of the heat. Simply, do not leave your dog in the car under any circumstances.
- Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh clean water. More frequent opportunities to have a drink are important. This may mean the need for more frequent toilet breaks as well.
- Keep the dog out of the hot sun as much as possible. Indoor activities rather than outdoor. If you have to travel on days of extreme temperature do it in the cool of the day where possible. If you can’t leave your hand on a hot pavement then it is becoming too hot for your dog unless it wearing protective boots. As the temperature rises above 30 degrees the handler should take note of the conditions, as it will vary. Some warm days when it is overcast the footpath temp is often not as hot as when it is a bright sunny day of a lower temp. If your dog becomes abnormally fidgety at kerbs, then it is probably time for boots.
- Your dog will probably prefer to lay on tiles rather than on carpet or its bed.
- Having damp towels available for the dog to lay on in the heat can often help.
- When you get home a fine spray with the hose and/or a wipe off with a damp towel might be appreciated.
- Hot weather treats such as dog icy poles are good. Freeze a few pieces of dry food in a plastic cup or small empty margarine container. The flavour of the food will make the ice block an enjoyable treat on a hot summers night or day. Probably best given in the laundry or back porch to avoid mess on the carpet.
- If the dog seems unusually listless or not coping with the heat, contact your local veterinarian. Use damp towels to lower the body temperature if required.