With the hottest weather of the year now with us, vets are reissuing their warning that pets can struggle as the temperature rises. Taking extra care as the thermometer rises can help keep them happy and healthy in the sunshine.
Dogs may struggle in high temperatures as they are unable to cool down quickly through sweating, rendering them vulnerable to overheating. Despite publicity campaigns in recent years, dogs still die in hot cars every summer or succumb to heatstroke as a result of over-exertion on walks and daytrips.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is highlighting seven simple steps to help keep dogs safe as the temperature rises:
* Don’t leave dogs in vehicles.
* Make sure they always have adequate water to drink.
* Provide adequate ventilation at all times.
* Avoid exercising dogs in the heat of the day.
* Provide shade from the sun in the hottest part of the day.
* Watch out for early signs of heatstroke, such as heavy panting.
* Contact a vet immediately if the animal does not respond to efforts to cool it down.
Detecting overheating early and treating it promptly is essential to dogs recovering successfully. Signs that animals are overheating can include faster and heavier panting, barking or whining. They might produce more saliva than normal and have dark coloured gums. Eventually their eyes may become glassy and they may appear unconscious.
If heatstroke is suspected dogs should be taken to a cool, well-ventilated place and given water to drink. Dogs can also be cooled down with a fan or by covering them with a wet towel. Pet owners should get advice from a vet immediately if the dog does not respond promptly.
For more information on pet care from BVA vets visit www.bva.co.uk