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Heatwave Risks For Your Dog This Summer

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Heatwave Risks For Your Dog This Summer

1. Heat stroke

A common summer problem for dogs is heatstroke. It is considered a life-threatening condition that can affect dogs regardless of age, breed, and gender. In extreme weather conditions, it can take as little as 30 minutes for heatstroke to develop and if they lose the ability to regulate their body temperature and struggle to get rid of excess heat through sweating, it will then become difficult to lose the heat through their skin. Although dog walking is an everyday essential, the safe temperature to walk your dog is up to 19 degrees Celsius, but if you’re unsure of whether it is in fact too hot for a little exercise, try touching the pavement with your hand; if it feels hot to you, keep your pet inside as it will feel too hot for your pooches’ paws. It is best to walk your dog in the morning or late evening when it is cooler.

Symptoms: Heavy panting, breathing difficulties, excessive drooling, lethargy, drowsiness, lack of coordination, collapsing or vomiting.

Resolution: If your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion, transfer them to a shaded spot and give them a tiny amount of cool water to drink until their breathing improves. While you are cooling them off, make sure they are not shivering and avoid pouring water over their heads to prevent drowning. After that, transport them to a VET for medical care.

2. Swimming Pools, Seas, Rivers, and Lakes

Although your dog might like to take a dip, open water is particularly dangerous due to the depth and the strong currents, which could cause drowning. Try to gradually introduce them to different levels of water rather than beginning with the deep end. It is also important to keep an eye out for blue-green algae, these particularly are more common after a heat wave and the blooms produce harmful toxins that can stop a dog’s liver from properly functioning within 30-60 minutes. They are commonly found in non-flowing, fresh water such as lakes, ponds, and rivers.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, excessive drooling, legarthy, panting or difficulty walking.

Resolution: Your VET may induce vomiting to remove the algae in the stomach or offer oral-activated charcoal to absorb the toxins. Your pet’s recovery can be slow and often the poisoning will cause liver damage.

3. Sunburn

Depending on the breed and color of your dog, they may be susceptible to sunburn. White dogs have fair skin under their fur and dogs with naturally thin hair or are hairless are all at risk for sunburn and worse, skin cancer. It is advised that our pooches get a minimum of 20 to 40 minutes of direct sunlight a day due to the health benefits, but it is key to avoid sunburn.

Symptoms: Red skin, tender skin, hair loss, dry and cracked or curled dog ear edges.

Resolution: Once you remove your dog from being in the sun, to reduce the sunburn use a cool compress on the affected areas. Wet, cool towels will be soothing on their skin, or you can use aloe vera gel to hydrate the burnt skin and in most cases, this could be the only necessary treatment. In more serious cases, cortisone cream can reduce inflammation but always check with a VET beforehand.

4. Barbecues

Everyone’s favorite thing to do in a summer heatwave is to have a barbecue, but it is vital that your dog doesn’t sneak a tasty treat away. Certain food and drinks can be hazardous and toxic to our pets, typically due to the high volume of ingredients such as salt and sugar. But other foods such as corn on the cob, raw garlic, beer, and wine, plus many more can make our furry friends fall sick. As many dog owners know, these friendly animals often try to sneak away extra food if it is within reach of them. One big barbecue necessity that is extremely harmful is uncooked meat, but this carries bacteria called salmonella and listeria which can harm both dogs and humans if not handled carefully. The best thing to do during a barbecue is to make sure anything a dog can consume is high on a counter that is inaccessible to them.

Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, loss of appetite or collapsing.

Resolution: Make a note of what your pooch has eaten, keep any labels or information about the product as this can assist vets further in giving the correct treatment. All treatment will be specific to the poison so avoid at-home remedies as these can be dangerous or worsen your dog’s condition. Instead, immediately take them to a VET clinic.

(Courtesy: Puppy Hero) 

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