Dog First Aid South Wales has released some helpful information for dog owners, following a series of social media posts, stating safe and unsafe ways to keep your dogs cool during the current weather.
It comes as the Met Office yesterday issued its first ever Amber Extreme Heat Warning, covering South Wales for the majority of this week.
Dog First Aid South Wales provides emergency dog first aid skills, with owner Rachel McAlpine from provided the following information to help dog owners keep their pets cool over the coming days.
Dogs & Ice cubs: Yes or No?
The weather has really warmed up over the last few days, and is set to stay that way for a while longer. This has meant a lot of mixed messages being shared over social media.
Do NOT walk dogs in the heat - TRUE
Do NOT leave dogs in hot cars - TRUE
Do NOT give your dog ice cubes/frozen treats - FALSE
Are ice cubes or frozen treats/Kongs harmful for our dogs?
The simple answer is: No, they aren't.
One post that I see frequently shared with regards to ice cubes & frozen treats is well-meaning but a little misleading. The original poster unfortunately misinterpreted what was said by the vet and, when recounting the advice, missed a crucial element of the advice - that the advice was specific to dogs who are experiencing hyperthermia/heatstroke.
If your dog is fit and healthy and displaying no signs of heatstroke then it is safe to give them frozen treats, ice cubes and doggy ice cream. You can add ice cubes to their water, let them play with ice cubes or freeze treats inside ice cubes for them.
If a dog is showing signs of heatstroke then it can be dangerous to give them frozen treats, ice cubes and icy cold water. Instead you should prioritise getting them to the vet for treatment and using safe methods of cooling on the way.
Some signs of heatstroke are:
- excessive, vigorous panting
- dark red, sticky/tacky gums
Safe cooling methods:
- stand the dog in cool/tepid water
- wipe the dog's paws, abdomen, arm pits and neck with a wet cloth, refresh and repeat.
- use a fan/air con
Priority should always be to get the dog to the vet as a matter of urgency.
No dogs have died from missing a walk but heatstroke can be fatal.
Prevention is the best option. Why not try some fun training or enrichment in the garden, play in a paddling pool, eat some tasty, frozen snacks or just chill out in front of the fan!
Find out more about Dog First Aid South Wales via Facebook