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  • Dog Days of Summer!

    Posted on by Kat Mozdzynski

    So we are in the gorgeous summer months and the sun out. Read our top tips for summertime fun and important safety tips……..

    Exercise tips for those hot summer days

    Walk your dog at cooler times of the day, either first thing in the morning or early evening.

    Dogs’ paws can burn on hot pavements.  If it is too hot for your hand then generally it will be too hot for their paws. If necessary encourage them to walk in grassy, shaded areas.

    Keep a travel bowl and water to hand when you are out and about. There are some great, cheap products that you can clip on to your pet’s lead or on to your belt.

    Swimming and water sources to help your pets cool down

    Swimming is a great form of exercise and a good way to cool your pets down in the summer but there are a few safety tips to make sure your pets are safe.

    Check freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds and canals to make sure they are clean before letting your dog dive in. Some types of algae, including blue-green algae which has been found in local spots such as Daventry Country Park, are toxic to dogs. If your dog swims in algae-contaminated water, contact us immediately.

    A safe and effective way to cool your pets down is to acquire a children’s paddling-pool or play pit. Kat, one of our nurses, fills her paddling-pool with water and all her dogs’ favourite toys, encouraging them to use it to cool down on those really hot days.

    A lot of dogs don’t like to immerse themselves in water so why not try a sprinkler in the garden or the mist setting on a hose to create a cooling shower for them when they walk past. They have even created a mist dispenser lead to cool your dog during a walk!!!

    Why would your pet need sunscreen?

    You may assume that your pet’s fur will protect their skin against exposure to the sun and its associated risks, but this is not always the case.

    If your pet has dark skin and dark, dense fur with no lighter areas or exposed skin, they will probably be fine without sunscreen, but many dogs can benefit from its protection.

    Dogs that have light coloured fur, very short, fine fur, or lighter areas can be at risk, and any exposed areas of skin (such as on the belly or around the muzzle where the fur tends to be finer) should be protected when out in the sun.

    Fun frozen treats and play time

    So we at the vets have been experimenting with different and fun ideas to keep your pets cool. Below you will see the ice block created by the Weedon team for Tarquin the dog.

    20160723_170416 (3)_Moment20160721_155132

    These blocks are not only cooling but also keep your pet mentally stimulated if their normal long walks have to be cut short.  cool bertie

    Other ideas include putting your pets food into a treat ball or Kong, creating ice cubes out of a solution called Oralade (contains vital electrolytes to keep your hydrated)  which can be purchased from the surgery, try wetting a bandana, wringing it out and then popping it into the freezer for a cold fashion accessory and finally along with plenty of shade for your dog’s play area why not purchase and inexpensive cooling mat which our nurse Racheal uses to help cool down her dog Bertie!

     

    Bees and wasps

    Dogs love to chase buzzing insects, but getting too close can be dangerous. Most insect stings will simply cause your dog pain and irritation, but multiple stings can be fatal.

    dog bee stingDogs are also at risk when they snap at bees and wasps because this makes them more likely to be stung in the mouth or throat. Stings in these areas are hazardous because any swelling can block your pet’s airway.

    Some dogs are allergic to bee and wasp stings, so watch out for signs of allergic reaction, including swelling and difficulty breathing.

    If you think your dog has been stung multiple times, or is having an allergic reaction, take them to a vet straight away.

    Heatstroke in dogs is a common occurrence!

    Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes. Unlike us, dogs can’t sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool.

    After the last few days of weather can you imagine wearing a thick winter coat in 30 degree heat. This makes it easy to understand why dogs succumb to heatstroke so easily.

    Signs of heatstroke in dogs include collapse, excessive panting, red gums and dribbling to name just a few.

    If you suspect your pet is suffering from the heat, move them to a cool place, preferably with a draught, wet their coat with cool – not freezing – water, and contact us immediately.

    Once a dog shows signs of heatstroke the damage is often already done, which is why it’s so important to prevent it.

    Every year dogs die in hot cars! 

    Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.

    dog hot car

    Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.

    A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.

    If you have any questions about this subject please call us on 01327 344999 (Weedon) Or 01327 350239 (Towcester) Enjoy the rest of the sunshine everyone!

    Kat Mozdzynski
    ABOUT KAT MOZDZYNSKI RVN MBVNA
    Kat has been nursing for 12 years and joined the team at Towcester Vets back in 2013. She enjoys all aspects of nursing and specialises in clinical work and acupuncture.
    View all posts by Kat Mozdzynski →