Poppy Says: Stay Cool
Summer may have been a washout so far, but the atmosphere has often been oppressive and the temperatures high. If we feel uncomfortable in these circumstances, imagine what it’s like wearing a fur coat, while at the same time being 100% reliant on others to ensure you have a shady place to rest and plenty to drink.
The one place that it certainly isn’t advisable to leave a dog is inside a locked car – even with the windows open. We’re not talking about those brief moments when filling the car with petrol or picking up the kids from school, but prolonged periods left unattended.
An outside temperature of 22 degrees can easily translate into an unbearable 47 degrees inside a car – that’s as hot as an oven, and at that temperature a dog can develop potentially fatal heat stroke in just minutes.
While we’re sure the vast majority of people wouldn’t dream of leaving their best friends in these circumstances, it’s good to know the signs to look out for if you think a dog may be suffering excessively from the heat:
- lethargy, drowsiness and uncoordinated movements
- heavy panting, difficulty breathing and excessive drooling
- very red tongue
- raised pulse rate
And if a dog does develop heat exhaustion, there are a number of ways to help them cool down:
- move them to a cool area
- douse with cool (not cold) water – the best way is to use damp towels
- place in front of a fan if possible
- provide small amounts of cool (again not cold) water to drink
- once cool, it is advisable to visit the vet to ensure there is nothing further to worry about
Bottom line, the only sensible advice is not to leave a dog in the car – even with the windows open – for any long period of time. There so many great dog friendly places, where the whole family can enjoy themselves, there’s really no excuse for it.