Hot Weather Tips

Dog eating ice-cream• Heatstroke: Dogs can only cool themselves by panting, which is much less efficient than sweating, so are very susceptible to becoming overheated in hot weather, especially if they cannot find a shady cool place to lie. Panting, which cools by evaporation, is less effective in humid weather, in a confined space, or for short-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs. Pets with thick coats, short noses, extra poundage or a drive to charge about whatever the temperature, are particularly at risk.

• Keeping cool: provide cool indoor refuges, with fans, and cooling mats or wet towels, and for water-loving dogs, a cool shady paddling pool. Spray with cooling water and consider buying a cooling jacket. Take water, and a collapsible bowl with you when travelling or on walks, and Doggy Ice Cream is always welcome!

• If your dog becomes overheated: contact your vet, cool him down with a cool tepid shower or wet towels, keep him calm and give him plenty of cool (not cold) water to drink.

• Senior pets: take special care of older companions, making sure that they stay cool and drink plenty of water. They often love to sunbathe but may snooze longer than they should, leading to heatstroke, circulatory problems, or sunburn

Sunbathing pets with white ear tips and noses need SPF 50 cream to prevent skin cancer and sunburn. Hypoallergenic products suitable for young children may be used, but products designed for pets are probably safest, as some ingredients may be toxic if licked off.

by Jacky Macqueen