Our Top Tips For Ensuring Your Beloved Dog Enjoys A Safe Journey 🐶
Finally the hot weather has arrived here in the UK, which is great news for most of us but the same might not necessarily be said for our beloved four-legged friends. Whilst they may love being out and about with us at the beach or on a country walk, they do struggle to keep cool when the weather is really hot.
To help our furry friends stay cool this summer and to ensure you all enjoy a safe and happy time together on warm days, we’ve compiled a handy guide of top tips.
NEVER Leave Your Dog in the Car on a Hot Day!
We all should really know that this isn’t something we should be doing when the weather is hot but sadly, every year we hear horror stories about dogs being left in hot cars.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the temperature inside a parked car can rise to between 100F (38C) and 120F (49C) in just a few minutes on a 78F (25C) day and on a 90F (32C) day, the temperature in a parked vehicle can reach up to 160F (71C) in under a mere 10 minutes!
If you know you’re going somewhere that you can’t take your dog with you on a hot day, you should leave your dog at home with a bowl of water and shady places to lie until you return.
It might be that you have someone with you, in which case, they can stand outside in a shady area whilst you go and do your errands.
Whilst travelling in the car, it’s a good idea to keep the air conditioning on to help them stay cool. Opening the windows is fine but you should never let your dog stick its head out of the window as you’d be breaking the Highway Code.
Steer Clear of the Midday Sun
We’ve all heard the words from the Noël Coward song, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun” and this is something we should avoid at all times. Neither us nor our pet pooches should be outside between the hours of 11am to 3pm. Just remember that the pavements are hot and your beloved dog is walking bare foot!
If you’re unsure about how hot the ground is, simply rest the back of your hand on the pavement for a few seconds and this should tell you whether it’s okay for your dog to walk on it or not.
It’s very important that we keep our four-legged friends well-hydrated when the weather is hot. They don’t sweat like we do, so they tend to pant to try and cool themselves down. Always have a supply of cool water with you to help them cool down and keep them hydrated.
If your dog really loves playing in water, you could let them paddle or swim if it’s safe to do so. If you have a furry dog that needs it’s hair cutting regularly, make sure you keep on top of it during the warmer months – they’ll appreciate it even more than they normally do!
Heatstroke – Be Aware of the Signs
This can be really serious for dogs and all pet owners should be able to recognise the symptoms:
- Panting and/or excessive drooling.
- Appearing lethargic, drowsy, confused or uncoordinated.
- Vomiting or collapsing.
If see you see your dog suffering from any of these symptoms, place them immediately in a shady area and begin to cool them down slowly. Trying to cool them down too quickly could shock them and this is just as dangerous as heatstroke.
Use cool water (not cold water) over their body, maybe using damp towels and get them to drink some cool water, a bit at a time. If you can, use a fan or try and fan them down yourselves with something else.
As soon as you notice your dog’s breathing returning to normal and they seem more stable, go straight to the nearest vet as a precaution.
If you see a parked car with a dog inside and it looks distressed, you should call 999 immediately and ask the police to come and assist you. Resist the urge to break the car window, as you could be accused of criminal damage. However, if you have no other choice for the sake of the dog/s, take photos and videos beforehand to show as evidence and look for witnesses.
More Travel Tips For You and Your Dog
Before setting off on a long journey, take them for a good walk to tire them out and feed them around two hours ahead of leaving so it has time to settle.
Stop regularly on your journey so they can stretch their legs and do their business.
Ensure your furry friends are restrained correctly using a harness, guard or crate in the boot. You could invalidate your insurance policy if you were involved in an accident and the dog was not properly restrained.
Just like we should carry an emergency breakdown kit in the car, our dogs should have their own too! Fill it with food, treats, a favourite toy, cool water, an extra lead and collar, dog bowl and anything else you can think of just in case you end up on the side of the road for a brief spell.
Lastly, make sure their pet passport and vaccinations are all up-to-date before planning a trip abroad.
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