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As we all enjoy the current warm weather (well at least for the next 72 hours!), we just wanted to remind all GSS Handlers and dog owners in general,  to take extra care and precautions with regard to the welfare of your dogs, especially when left in a vehicle.

Below are some handy tips to make sure that your dog is safe:

– Never leave your dog unattended in a hot vehicle

– If possible walk your dog early in the morning or late at night, when it is cooler.

– Ensure that your dog has plenty of fresh water.

– Rest the dog in shaded areas (park your vehicle in the shade)

– If you can’t hold your hand on tarmac for 7 seconds then it is too hot for a dogs paws.

– Dogs can get sunburn, consider suncream on the tip of the nose and ears.

– Use pulse patrols (shorter patrols with regular breaks)

Symptoms of heatstroke:

– Panting heavily

– Drooling excessively

– Appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated

– Vomiting

– Collapsing

Emergency first aid for dogs with heatstroke:

For the best chance of survival, dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature lowered, but this needs to be done gradually or they can go into shock.

If your dog has collapsed, call a vet immediately as they may advise attending as a matter of emergency rather than starting treatment yourself.

In milder cases, you can follow these First Aid steps to start lowering your dog’s temperature.

– Move your dog to a shaded and cool area

– Immediately start pouring small amounts of room temperature (not cold) water onto the dog’s body (cold water may cause shock). If possible, you can also use wet towels or place the dog in the breeze of a fan. If using wet towels, be sure to re-apply water regularly and not to keep the dog constantly covered – sometimes this can heat them up instead of cooling them down.

– Allow the dog to drink small amounts of room temperature water.

– Continue to pour small amounts of room temperature water onto the dog until their breathing starts to settle but not so much that they start to shiver.

– Once the dog is starting to get cooler and their breathing is settling down, call the nearest veterinary surgery so they can be checked over.