By Euro Weekly News Media • 11 June 2015 • 10:27
KEEPING COOL: Never exercise a dog in the heat.
TAKE special care of your dog in hot summer months as dogs have inefficient cooling systems compared to humans. The sweat glands are in the tongue and paw pads, the primary method of sweating being the obvious one of panting. If a muzzle or a respiratory blockage interferes with this ability to pant, a dog may overheat quickly. Obese dogs suffer most. Never exercise a dog in the heat of the day and keep his weight under control. Make sure there is plenty of shade and water. Temperatures of more than 40ºC can result in rapid panting, bright red gums, tongue and other mucus membranes, vomiting, watery and bloody diarrhoea and staggering. Thick saliva is also a sign of an impending heat stroke. If a dog is not treated immediately it is possible that coma, respiratory collapse and death can result. If there are signs of heat stroke cool the dog off by submerging it in tepid water before taking it to a vet. Flap a towel to fan the dog and allow gradual cooling. Cooling a dog that is in shock too fast with cold water can cause further problems, even hypothermia. Certainly do not use ice water as this could result in a narrowing of the arteries to the skin, meaning the dog will retain the heat longer. Do not leave dogs in cars even with the windows down. If you see a dog in an unattended car in hot weather for more than five minutes call the police. Keep water in the boot of the car and out of the sun, dogs do not like warm or hot water. Hot pavements, tarmac and sand on a beach can burn paws. Jogging with your dog running behind is also unwise as is making your dog run behind a car. Remember young or small dogs take 10 steps to our one and young dogs need most of their energy for growing. Don’t clip long-haired dogs too short otherwise there is the danger of the skin being sun burnt, their coats are for protection against cold weather and the sun.
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