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Doggy sun care

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Dog care in summer

A few hints and tips from the RSPCA

As a nation of dog lovers you'd think we'd know better, but just in case, here are some steps you can take to ensure your dog stays cool during the summer months.

It surely goes without saying that you should never leave dogs in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day (even if only for a short while). When it's 22°C outside, temperatures can quickly rise to 47°C (117°F) in these environments, which can be fatal.

Use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet's skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. This is especially important if your dog has white or light-coloured fur, as they can be very vulnerable to getting burnt. If you're unsure which is the right product to use, please ask your vet.

Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool.

Check every day for flystrike – this can be fatal.

Put ice cubes into your dog's water bowl or make some tasty ice cube treats. You could also freeze a kong with treats and water!

Give your pet damp towels to lie on (never place a damp towel over your dog as this can trap in heat) or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Both simple methods could provide welcome relief from the heat

If you're planning a day out with your dog, check before leaving home whether dogs are allowed. If they're not, arrange a pet-sitter or choose another, dog-friendly attraction.

Groom them regularly – regular grooming in warmer weather can help brush away any dead or excess hair, leaving your dog with a less dense coat – much better for staying cool!

Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in, although not all dogs like water, so there's no need to force them if they don't want to.

Signs of burned pads

Try the 5-second test – if it's too hot for your hands, it's too hot for paws!

You can also look out for;

  • Limping or refusing to walk
  • Licking or chewing at the feet
  • Pads darker in colour
  • Missing part of pad
  • Blisters or redness
  • Signs of heatstroke
  • Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
  • Excessively drooling
  • The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
  • Collapsed or vomiting

If you suspect your dog has thesigns of heat strokeyou must act quickly.

Find out more aboutcaring for your dog – view the RSPCA website here

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