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Dogs & Dubai Rising Temperatures

I can’t believe it’s only the beginning of May and already we’re reaching temperatures of high 30’s & early 40’s. During these summer months, most of us try to stay indoors during these excessive temperatures under the a/c as much as possible, avoiding the risk of sunburn, heat exhaustion, but what about the dogs? Keeping your dog cool Dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating like humans can, they only sweat a small amount through their foot pads. The main way to cool off is through panting, which is not sufficient when it is hot and humid. All dogs are at risk of heat exhaustion/heat stroke, particularly those who are obese and brachycephalic (short nose) breed e.g. pugs, bulldogs are highly sensitive to heat. Can you walk your dog in summer? Yes, however, walks must be done early morning and later in the evening, avoiding direct sun and periods of high humidity. These walks should be gentle exercise, not running alongside your bicycle and for shorter durations than during the cooler months. Not only due to temperatures, pavements will also be too hot for their paws, they WILL burn. Rule of thumb, if it’s too hot for you to walk in barefoot, it’s too hot for your dog. Heat exhaustion/heat stroke Awareness Heat exhaustion is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun, dehydration, overheating from over exercising. What are the signs? Vigorous panting Dark red gums (familiarise what is normal for your dog) Fatigue, lying down unwilling to get up Dizzy/disorientation/staggering Collapse and or loss of consciousness Thick saliva Rapid heart rate Muscle tremors Severe heat stroke can lead to permanent organ damage & even death!
Prevention Never leave your dog in the car on warm/hot days. Avoid vigorous exercise, reducing exercise as temperature rise Have fresh cool water available at ALL times Provide shelter from direct sun Suspected heat stroke – what to do? Remove dog out of heat/sun immediately Cool your dog by placing wet towels on body, particularly around his head & foot pads Offer dog water, but do not force water into his/her mouth NEVER use ice or extremely cold water, this can cause the blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body’s core from cooling and actually cause the internal temperature to rise
Next week… Tips for cooling off, games, exercise for your dogs to avoid boredom, weight gain… Laura Park – www.positivepaws.ae

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