During the summer especially you must pay particular attention to your dogs needs when conducting both outdoor and indoor activities, unfortunately every year we see the needless loss of life when it comes to dogs and in most cases these are easily preventable. This blog is going to highlight some of the key considerations you must as a responsible dog owner pay attention to and implement in order to keep your dogs safe.
First of all when the heat rises no matter where you are located in the world ensure your dog has constant access to water, shade and are eating their meals as normal. Most people forget or simply don't understand that food plays a vital role in keeping up your dogs energy, strength and also hydration. If your dog is not eating as it normally would this not only effecting its energy levels and strength, it is also a good indicator that something is wrong with your dog and it could already be feeling the effects from the heat.
On particularly hot days please consider walking your dog early in the morning or late on an evening when the temperatures are at their lowest, You MUST pay particular attention to this if you have a breed that already suffers with breathing difficulties, you have an elderly dog or a dog that is suffering from illness especially heart conditions. I can not count the amount of times I have seen people walking overweight Bulldogs (and similar breeds) during peak heat on a 30+ day, STOP this immediately as you WILL kill your dog.
Another thing when walking your dog you need to be cautious of is the heat of the surface they are walking on, the temperatures tarmac reaches on a warm summers day creates unbearable levels of pain on the dogs feet as it burns them. If your unsure as to wether the ground is hot, remove your shoes and socks, go bare foot and if its uncomfortable for you it will be uncomfortable for them.
If you do go for a walk with your dog on a hot day, please ensure you have regular water and shade breaks, giving your dog plenty of time to cool down and rehydrate before you move off again.
Another common mistake people make during the summer, despite the amount of awareness been raised with regards to this is leaving their dogs unattended, in vehicles with no windows down for long periods of time. This should not be done under any circumstances, if you need to leave your dog in a vehicle ensure it is only for a SHORT period of time, the car is parked in shade and all of your windows are down allowing maximum ventilation for the vehicle. Of course if you have air conditioning (camper van etc) this is ideal, although I would recommend leaving a note on the vehicle stating as such to prevent some innocent bi stander from intervening.
If Your Dog Overheats!
If you find yourself in a situation where your dog over heats and comes unwell, remove the dog from direct sunlight and into shade, give access to water and splash (spray) small amounts of cool water onto them allowing their core body to gradually decrease and get your dog to a vet as quickly and safely as possible.
Under NO circumstances should you pour large amounts of cold water onto your dog or give them lots of cold ice, a sudden drop of core temperature is incredibly dangerous and can result in serious illness or death.
Walking your dogs near livestock or Cliffs:
At all times when walking your dogs around livestock of cliff tops please ensure you ALWAYS have your dog on a lead, no matter how well trained you think your dog is there is always a chance its natural instincts and pray drive will kick in. EVERY dog possesses pray drive some more so than other, which always leaves an eliminate of unpredictability and desire to chase.
We have seen all to often dogs running over cliff tops or attacking livestock which has unfortunately in many if not most cases results in the death of the dog and or livestock. As an owner it is your responsibility to protect and keep your dogs safe so ALWAYS in a situation like these keep your dogs on the lead.
When allowing your dog to swim in the sea please be cautious of the weather conditions, how far you allow your dog out and we would also recommend them wearing a buoyancy aid or life jacket if you will, this way if the worse case arises your dog can stay afloat until help arrives.
When swimming in rivers or lakes, be mindful of the animals that call this area home , pay attention to the water conditions as some rivers have extremely strong flow and under current. If possible remove your dogs collar to prevent any snags and getting pulled under. Once again I would recommend a buoyancy aid, its always a great fail safe to have incase the unthinkable happens.
My final point is Swans, I can not count how many times I have witnessed owners allowing dogs of lead to run around, bounce and bark at swans. I would like to point out this is illegal. Swans are a protected animal, the harassment and torment of nature in its natural habitat can lead to prosecution of the owner or individual responsible. Safety of the dog, for those people unaware of the power a Swan possess, If a fully grown adult Swan is provoked enough and feels the needs to protect itself for the vast majority of dog breeds this will potentially result in serious injury or death of the dog. Don't be fooled by their sweet beautiful nature as when backed into a corner or provoked they are an incredibly strong and dangerous animal.
Please Be SAFE:
As a dog owner it is your responsibility to protect and look out for your dogs, dogs unfortunately do not recognise some of the potential dangers and hazards that we do as humans. Every single one of the points I have laid out about you would implement for your children and your dogs are NO different. They are a member of your family and under your care so do NOT neglect these duties and keep them as safe as you would your children.
Share Share Share:
Please don't hesitate to get this blog shared around, knowledge and awareness is key. Your share could SAVE a dogs life.
NEXT PODCAST EPISODE:
Our next podcast series will be released over the coming days and we will be taking an in depth look into some of the issues above, we have an interview with dog trainer Jaime Bows who discusses pray drive and and interview with Sue Hicksen-Marsay the Operations manager at Hornsea Inshore Rescue where she discusses the catastrophic consequences dogs have faced due to their owners mistakes and neglect.
To listen to our podcast episodes clink on the link below, choose your desired podcast provider be it Amazon music, apple podcasts, spotify , Google podcasts or many more. Click follow and get notifications on our episodes as soon as they are released.
If you would like to support us in our work to protect, raise awareness and support the animals of our world in need please jump across to our Patreon site and check it out (Link below).