Dogs in Summer – Heat & Grass Seeds
Long summer days and balmy nights mean we are often out and about with our pets more than other times of the year.
In this special “dogs in summer” blog post we’ll discuss the hazards your pet may face over the coming months.
Heat exhaustion in dogs
It can be easy to over do it in the heat and our pets are super susceptible to heatstroke.
Keep an eye out for excessive, exaggerated or noisy panting, drooling, weakness or collapse.
If you think your pet might have heat stroke, take your pet to the vets immediately.
It’s best to place your pet in front of the air conditioner or a fan while you are in the car. You can also place wet towels on hairless parts of the body (footpads and groins).
Avoid hot paths and sand
Many people forget footpaths, decking, tin roofs, and bitumen roads get incredibly hot during the summer.
Even sand can sometimes be too hot to walk on.
This can cause painful burns to your pet’s paws so be extremely careful in the heat. If it’s too hot for you to walk on in bare feet, it will be too hot for your pet!
If in doubt, place the palm of your hand to the surface and see how hot it is.
The dangers of grass seeds
These pesky little beasts can wreak havoc.
Certain types of grass seeds are shaped like a pointy arrow with a sharp tip and once they are caught in your pet’s fur they can start to burrow aggressively into your pet’s skin with no way of escaping.
If the seed does not exit, a painful abscess can form and this may lead to the need for surgery to remove the seed or remnants.
Keep an eye out for a lump or swelling (particularly between the toes), excessive licking, pain or bloody discharge from a small wound.
If you find such a lump, or your dog is displaying these symptoms, then it’s worth calling your vet who will offer advice and treatment.
How to keep your dog cool in summer
The summer heat can really affect our pets, so how can you keep your dog cool in summer?
Air flow is key to keeping cool!
While shade is a non negotiable essential, there may be some extreme days where you need to bring your pet inside and place them near a fan or air conditioner to allow the air flow to help keep them cool. Wet towels on the floor (or a cooling mats) can also give your pet a comfortable place to rest.
Don’t forget to supply multiple supplies of water as it is very easy for one water source to be spilled or evaporate.
You can also try some of these easy ideas:
Create a giant ice block with treats!
Half fill an ice-cream container with water and freeze – place a number of broken up treats (liver and kangaroo chews work well) then fill to the top with water and freeze again.
You’ll have a giant flavoured ice-block that will provide hours of cool entertainment!
Get a doggy wading pool!
Buy a children’s wading poo (they are very cheap!) and half fill with water. Float a few of your dog’s favourite toys in it and you’ll have yourself a pooch pool party!
Finally, don’t forget about our wildlife!
Our native wildlife really suffers in extreme heat.
A few bowls of water placed around the garden (keep them off the ground away from predators) can literally be life savers. Just remember to place a rock or stick in the container to prevent any drownings.
“Dogs in Summer”, written by David D’Angelo