With temperatures rising over the next week owners and dogs in greater numbers will flood into London’s parks for a sunny break from city life and a little TCL goes a long way in preventing ailments such as heat stroke and sunburn. Plan ahead to make sure your furry companion stays cool and comfortable in the heat.
On walks and Outings
-Never leave your dog in a car! Even with the windows open a car is not adequately ventilated and even a few minutes can cause lasting damage to your pooch.
-Public transport in London can get very crowded especially during the tourist season, avoid overly congested routes, as with cars these can get extremely hot.
-Avoid walking your dog in the middle of the day, or if you must go out make sure they have regular breaks in an area that’s well shaded and breezy.
-Be extra vigilant if you own a flat faced breed such as a pug or bulldog. Due to their shortened airways they aren’t able to cool themselves down as well as other breeds.
-For dogs with thin white coats or bald patches doggie suncream is a must. You can purchase it at your local vets or pet store.
Making sure your pet has access to cool fresh water is a must, but here are some other fun ways to keep your pup as chilled as a pup-cicle.
-Give your dog ice cubes or some homemade flavoursome frozen dog treats.
-Swimming! Hampstead Heath is a great location for walks and a quick dip for your pooch as well as having many dog-friendly pubs nearby.
-Dress your pup in a cooling vest/collar or in a pinch wet a bandana and tie it around their neck.
-Give your dog an extra chilled spot to cool off by purchasing a cooling mat and placing it somewhere shaded. Alternatively DIY it by wetting a towel with cold water or by filing a hot water bottle with water and ice.
Heatstroke is a potentially fatal condition where your dog’s internal body temperature rises above normal. To keep your dog safe know the signs and if suspected take them somewhere to cool down, give them fresh water and ring your vets immediately. Check out our other blog posting for the signs and for a quick reference on-the-go download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid app and look under the heat related category. Additionally, the “know what’s normal section” tells you how to check their gums, body temperature (in fahrenheit), pulse rate and for dehydration, which are useful in assessing your pet for heat stroke.
Enjoy the sun and stay safe!