Guest post by Frozzys.com
On May 6 this year, the RSPCA launched their ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ campaign, following a three year high of reports of animals suffering from heat exhaustion. Despite increasing media coverage on the subject, it seems that the severity of the issue is still being somewhat underestimated.
As we enjoy warmer months, it’s extremely important to be mindful of the dangers and effects of hot weather on our beloved pets. Did you know for example, that it takes less than six minutes for a dog to become dangerously overheated in a car? A relatively short amount of time when you are popping into a shop. Although it’s certainly not just in hot cars that dogs can easily become overheated. Conservatories, outbuildings and unshaded gardens are all locations which can become dangerously warm and cause dogs to develop heatstroke, which can have catastrophic consequences.
Dogs are unable to ‘sweat’, which is a human’s primary response to an increasing body temperature. A dog will attempt to cool itself down by releasing heat through panting, increasing its heart rate (to open up capillaries in the skin), and licking itself to encourage evaporation. If none of these methods work, and the dog’s internal temperature rises to 41°C and above, it becomes at risk of heatstroke (which only 50% of dogs survive).
Dogs with thicker coats, dogs with shorter muzzles and larger/overweight dogs are all more susceptible to heatstroke. With almost half of all pet dogs in the UK being considered ‘obese’, that’s a large proportion of UK dogs which are at a higher-than-average risk of heat-related illnesses.
Fortunately, there are many ways that we, as responsible dog owners, can help safeguard our dogs during hot weather. The experts at Frozzys suggest the following advice:
- Give your dog constant access to cool, shaded and well-ventilated areas with plenty of fresh water.
- Only walk your dog if absolutely necessary and during cooler parts of the day (early morning/ later in the evening). Always do a pavement check! If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
- Provide a physical cooling aid, such as a pot of Frozzys® lickable frozen yogurt. This natural and healthy treat will also provide mental stimulation should your dog be restless from exercising less.
- Never, under any circumstances, leave your animal in a car.
- Be aware! Watch out for signs of overheating, which include excessive panting, licking, loud breathing, unsteady walking and ‘drowsiness’. If you notice any of these, take immediate action and contact your vet if necessary.
The summer months always provide great opportunities to enjoy quality time with family and pets: just remember to always remain vigilant to the signs and symptoms of animal heat exhaustion. In case of any doubt, always play it safe and contact your local vet if you have any worries or need any advice.
For more information on Frozzys lickable frozen yogurt – the perfect cooling aid for your dog this summer – please visit the newly launched website at www.frozzys.com.
To find out more about Frozzys and where you can purchase – click on www.frozzys.com.