How to Beat the Heat

How to Beat the Heat

Vannessa le Roux

We’ve had some serious scorchers and they just seem to keep on coming! While we still want you and your doggos to enjoy some fun in the sun, it’s important to be prepared when it becomes too hot to handle. Things can get a little ruff with all that extra fluff and heatstroke is a real danger during these times.

First things first, make sure you know the signs of heatstroke:

  • Heavy, rapid panting

  • Excessive drooling

  • Either very pale or very red gums

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

  • Weakness and/or an inability to get up

If you do notice any of these symptoms, take these steps immediately:

  • Move your dog to a cooler area and place a wet towel underneath them to cool their belly

  • Spray them with cool water and focus especially on the neck and armpits (do not use ice water or an ice bath – overcooling can cause as much damage as overheating)

  • Offer small amounts of water frequently – if they don’t want to drink, don’t force it; you can wet their tongue a bit but don’t force water down their throat

  • If your dog has collapsed and is unresponsive, or is experiencing seizures, get them to a vet immediately (give them a call when you’re on the way so they can be ready for you)

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so in order to avoid any scary situations like these, there are some things you can do to make sure your pupper is safe in the summer heat. The most important tip is to ensure that your furball always has shade and access to fresh, cold drinking water. It’s best to place multiple bowls around the house and outside so that it is always readily available. For those who need a bit more encouragement to stay hydrated, a water fountain could do the trick. Some dogs also may enjoy playing with ice blocks!

Our puppers still need their exercise despite the heat, so the safest way to do so is to stick to early mornings or later evenings when the temperatures are lower. And if you’re going for walks, stick to grassy areas as the hot pavement can burn those pawfect little paws. These paw protectors are also helpful in both extremely hot and cold conditions. Also remember to take a portable water bottle or collapsible travel bowl when heading out. And if it really is too hot for walkies, get the sprinkler on or bring out the hosepipe for some splashing fun!

Lastly, never leave any pet in a hot car! Not even if the windows are open. A parked car can very quickly become an oven; if it’s 24°C outside, it only takes 10 minutes to reach 37°C inside a car, and after 30 minutes, it could get to 49°C!