As the country braces for intense heat in the coming days, pet owners are being urged to ensure their animals stay cool and safe this summer.
et Éireann has forecast “sweltering heat” with temperatures of up to 30C from Friday, in what the forecaster says will be a “relatively brief spell of very warm temperatures”.
Dogs Trust Ireland shared tips and safety advice for dog lovers ahead of the heatwave.
Avoid walking dogs in the afternoon
The charity recommends exercising your dog during the cooler times of the day, like early mornings or late evenings, when the sun isn’t as hot.
Dogs Trust urges owners not to take chances when it comes to their dogs.
“It’s also important to remember the five-second test. Press your hand on the pavement for five seconds, if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws,” the charity said.
Have fresh water ready
Don’t forget to bring plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink when training him. Portable pop up bowls are ideal when you are traveling with your pooch.
Make sure your dog has water to drink at all times, even at home. Put a few water bowls in different spots around the house and make sure there is one outside in the shade too.
“Another great way to ensure your dog stays hydrated is to freeze some of his favorite toys in water or make an ice lick with frozen treats in it. This will encourage them to lick the ice cream, which will help keep them hydrated,” they said.
Make sure they have access to shade
Pet owners should make sure that their dog always has a nice, shady spot both inside and outside where it can escape the heat of the sun.
On particularly hot days, Dogs Trust recommends providing your pet with a damp towel to lie on to keep them even cooler.
“Make sure you replace or re-moisten it often as it can dry out quickly. Never place a damp towel over a dog as it could actually cause the temperature to rise,” they said.
“It can also be a good idea to trim the coats of particularly hairy dogs so they don’t get as hot. Make sure you check with your groomer about this first.”
Avoid long car journeys
If possible, avoid long car journeys with your dog, especially during the hottest hours of the day, and try to avoid busy roads where you could get stuck in traffic.
Owners can use a car sunshade to provide their dog with some shade while driving. Don’t forget to take water and toilet breaks as well.
The charity urges pet owners never to leave their dog alone in the car, no matter the weather.
“Even a few minutes can prove deadly for them. On a 22°C day, the temperature in your car can rise by 11°C in just 10 minutes. Opening a window or parking in the shade can hardly compensate for this,” they said.
Know the warning signs of heat stroke
Excessive or rapid panting
Red gums and tongue
vomiting or diarrhea
lack of coordination
loss of consciousness
If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, Dogs Trust advises owners to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.
The charity recommends taking your dog somewhere cool or shaded while you call the vet. Let your vet know that your dog may be suffering from heat stroke and describe your dog’s symptoms.
https://www.independent.ie/news/how-to-keep-your-dog-safe-and-cool-as-temperatures-soar-41838200.html How to keep your dog safe and cool when temperatures rise