With the rise in dog ownership over the past year and with temperatures expected to remain high across Ireland, Dogs Trust is warning owners of the dangers hotter weather can have for dogs.
Sunny weather is such a treat for most in Ireland, and due to ongoing travel restrictions, many will be making the most of the glorious sunshine with visits to their local park, beach or enjoying a backyard barbeque. However, dogs cannot cool themselves down the same way as humans, so the charity is asking dog owners, especially those with young puppies, older dogs, overweight dogs or dogs with flatter faces, to be extra cautious as they are more prone to heatstroke. Common signs of heatstroke to watch out for include uncoordinated movements or collapse, altered or loss of consciousness, loss of vision, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, coma or bleeding. If heatstroke is suspected, seek veterinary attention immediately, the sooner this happens, the better chance the dog has of making a full recovery.
Niamh Curran Kelly, Veterinary and Welfare Manager, Dogs Trust Ireland, advises: “If your dog displays any signs of heatstroke, please seek urgent veterinary advice. You should dial your vet on speakerphone while moving your dog to a cool or shaded area. Advise your vet that your dog may be suffering from heatstroke and describe your dog’s symptoms. If you can’t get to your vet immediately and have to wait for transport, use a water spray to gently cool your dog’s external skin temperature. You should also offer them small amounts of room-temperature water to help bring their temperature down further. While driving to the vet, drive with the windows down or air-conditioning on – this should help to further reduce your dog’s core temperature.”
Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications, Dogs Trust Ireland, says: “While going out in the beautiful midday sun for a walk may seem like a great idea, we want to remind people to walk their dogs early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are lower. If you’ll be walking on tarmac, try the ‘seven-second test’; if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Please also make sure you bring lots of cool, fresh water with you to keep your dog hydrated and if you’re stopping for a break, check that your dog has some shade to relax in. If you do need to go out in the middle of the day in warm weather, please consider leaving your dog at home, where they can stay cool and safe. If you are worried about leaving your dog alone, we have lots of advice on our website about preventing separation anxiety.”
The charity is also sharing a vital reminder to all dog owners; never EVER leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. Just a few minutes in a hot car can be fatal to your dog, with temperatures inside rising from 22 to 33 degrees in just 10 minutes. Even if the car is parked in the shade and the windows are left down, it does very little to help with the temperature inside the vehicle.
For more information and lots of tips on making sure your dog has a cool summer please visit www.DogsTrust.ie/CoolToBeKind