Dog-gone it, it’s hot
It’s shaping up to be the hottest summer since 1976. The moors are on fire at Saddleworth, train rails are bending and the tarmac’s melting in the sun.
While that’s good news for most of us humans, and certainly for ice-cream sellers, it’s less welcome for our dogs.
Generally, our canine friends don’t do well when the mercury rises. The breeds most likely to struggle in the heat are bulldogs, pugs, greyhounds and any dog with thick fur.
Happily, there are things you can do to make life bearable for your best friend. Obviously, you’ll need to ensure a plentiful supply of fresh water. Your dog will also welcome a good crunch on an ice cube from time to time.
You should also restrict walks to early morning and late evening, especially if walking involves hot pavements. And please, please don’t leave your animal in a hot car, regardless of whether you’ve left a window ajar. A hot car can soon become an oven, and that can be fatal to dogs within minutes.
If you see a dog left in a car in the heat, dial 999 immediately. In extreme circumstances, break the window. But please wait around for the police so you can explain.
How can you tell if your pet is at risk of developing heat stroke?
Dogs who are struggling in the heat usually pant heavily and their gums and tongue turn bright pink or red. Watch for their tongue lolling out of their mouth and for a tendency to lie down more than usual.
If things get really bad, they might stumble, be sick or seem confused. If your pet is showing any of these signs, call a vet immediately. Remember that dogs with darker fur will absorb more heat and are more likely to be affected by high temperatures.
If your dog is too hot, make sure they’re in the shade. Sponge down their tummies, armpits and feet with cold water.
Then put your feet up and enjoy another ice cream. You’ve earned it.