DURING Spain’s Coronavirus lockdown, many people took to walking their dogs as much as possible, in order to take in fresh air.
Now that many are back to work and free to travel where we want, the poor pooch is finding more time is spent at home.
However, owners still shouldn’t forget about the potentially tragic results from taking your pet out in the sun during the intense weather.
This is valid for any dog, but if yours is brachycephalic (with a snub nose), even more care is needed.
Pugs, boxers, chow chows or bulldogs are more sensitive to heat and can suffer terribly if care is not taken.
Juan Luis de Castellví is a health emergency technician and dog trainer, and has produced a list of essential things to remember during the hotter weather.
1. During very hot days, walk your dog in the shade and at the coolest times of the day, early in the morning and at night (but remember that the asphalt may have retained heat throughout the day)
2. Never leave a dog in a car, even windows slightly open.
3. Remember the “Five second rule” – If you can’t stand the heat for five seconds with the back of your hand on the ground, your dog will burn its paws.
4. Make sure fresh water is available night and day, and that bowls are placed in a cool part of the house or in a draft.
5. If you think your dog is suffering, cool it down with cloths doused with cool water (not ice) on the pads and groin.
6. Try a bath or shower with cold water, which will help lower the body temperature’
7. A mini first-aid kit for your dog should contain four socks, gauze, tweezers to remove small pebbles or thorns, disinfectant spray and a bandage.
8. Do not shave your dog, since the coat does protect it from the sun.
9. Ask your vet for special sunscreen creams for dogs and use on the ears, lips, nose and groin area.
10. If your destination can only be reached via dirt or stone paths, consider dog boots or small socks. The Dog Clinic has a list of the best boots if you’re not sure which to buy.
Juan stresses: “Dogs, like people, need to be in places where they do not suffer from excessive heat, they need shade and water.”
He also suggested consideration when crossing the road: “don’t force them to sit in the street while waiting for a gap in traffic, standing is enough because they don’t want to burn their butt!”
Juan’s website is https://etologiacanina.wordpress.com/