Make a DIY Dog Sling for Added Support. Does your dog have arthritis or weak limbs? If your dog needs some extra support getting up & around you can make your own dog sling to help.
Nala was having such a great time in the park that Thomas found it tricky to get her to stop playing.
‘After about 10 minutes of playing, we had a break,’ he says. ‘She took some convincing and I had to go over to get her to make sure that she would stop chasing after the ball.
‘She was panting heavily but I didn’t think that it was anything overly concerning. I went to my car to go and get her some water.’
But it was when Thomas arrived home a few minutes later that he realised something was wrong with Nala.
Get Your Dog Microchipped For a Permanent Identifier. A scan of your dogs microchip will give all of your personal information to help with a speedy reunion, just remember to update your information with the microchip company if you move. (microchips are also one of the ways a court can make a decision regarding ownership of a dog, if it ever came to that)
‘We drove home, which is only five minutes around the corner, but when we got there her condition started to worsen. She was panting heavily and foaming at the mouth.
‘I hadn’t seen her like that before, so I took her straight into the back garden and hosed her down to cool her off and offered her lots of water.
‘She started to go really limp, almost like she was drunk and I knew something was seriously wrong. I called the vets for advice, and they told me to bring her in right away so that they could check her over.’
The 20-month-old Labrador was rushed to Hook Vets, a My Family Vets practice. Due to the cloudy conditions, Thomas didn’t think the weather would cause problems for Nala. Natasja Turner, a Veterinary Nurse from Hook vets, was part of the team that cared for Nala. ‘Nala presented to us panting, lethargic and with purple gums after playing with a ball outside for 15 mins,’ says Natasja. ‘Her temperature was at a whopping 41.3⁰c. A dog’s normal temperature range is 38 – 39⁰c. ‘Heatstroke can cause irreversible damage or even death. Thankfully, her owner noticed and reacted quickly and Nala is doing well. His quick actions saved her life.’
Make a Tug Toy From Old Clothes. Does your dog love to play tug? Got some extra t-shirts lying around? Make your own toy by braiding one of your old t-shirts into a tug toy rather than throwing them out.
Speaking about the dangers of heatstroke, Natasja said: ‘Nala’s case shows regardless of age, weight and size that heatstroke is a dangerous thing and can affect any of our pets. ‘Nala’s owners did the best thing with their suspicions of heatstroke and contacted us ASAP. Their actions meant that Nala had no long-lasting damage to her physical and mental wellbeing.’
Use a Food Dispensing Toy for Fast Eaters. If your dog eats too fast use a food dispensing toy (we love the Kong Wobbler & Bob a Lot), or place a few tennis balls in their bowl to slow their eating. Not only does this keep them from eating too quick, it gives them a nice mental workout.
Now that Nala is fully recovered and is back to being herself, Thomas has adopted a much more cautious approach to exercising in the warmer months.
Make a Simple Puzzle Toy With a Muffin Tin. Looking for a simple way to keep your dogs mind busy? Create a simple puzzle toy with a muffin tin, treats and a few tennis balls. And if you’re looking some more boredom busters check out 26 simple ways to relieve dog boredom.
‘I was really worried about Nala, it was really scary.’ he says. ‘It wasn’t overly hot, Nala is young and fit and it happened so quickly. We went from having a great time playing in the park to suffering from heatstroke in the space of a few minutes.
‘From this experience, I’ve learnt to be a lot more cautious. I’ve been reading up about how easy it for dogs to suffer from heatstroke. I’m always really aware of the temperature and how energetic she is.’
How to spot heatstroke in dogs
- Faster, heavier breathing
- Excessive thirst and drooling
- Increased heart rate and pulse rate
- Dark coloured gums/ tongue (red/purple)
- Glassy eyes
- Staggering or weakness
Use a Front Clip Harness to Prevent Pulling on Leash. If your dog pulls on his leash get a harness that clips in the front. The harnesses that clip on the back promote more pulling. And when you’re working on leash manners ditch the retractable leash for a regular 6 foot one so your dog can get the feeling of what loose leash walking means.
Dogs that are more prone to heatstroke are old dogs, overweight dogs, flat-faced breeds and puppies. However, any dog of any age or breed or fitness can get heatstroke.
If you think your dog has heatstroke, do not throw cold water on them as this can cause the body to go into shock.The team at Hook Vets advice that on warm days you can help your dogs by:
- Restricting exercise
- Make sure they have access to cool, shaded areas
- Give them access to freshwater
- Walking them first thing in the morning or last thing at night when it’s cooler
- If your pet is overweight start them on a weight loss journey
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INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Dogs have wet noses because it helps to absorb scent chemicals.
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