Friday, 6 May 2011

Sunny Days

During the recent hot spell, I noticed that our medium coated German shepherd seemed to be panting excessively. Although I put this down to the hot humid weather I still decided to take the dog to the vet for  a heart check. Fortunately every thing was fine and there were no problems.

The situation reminded me of an incident, many years ago when the family had two Rhodesian Ridgeback Dogs.
These dogs originate from a hot climate and have a short coat so they are reasonably heat tolerant.

At the time we lived in a small market town and I used to take the dogs, on leads, along several roads before reaching an open space where the dogs could run free.

One very hot day, hot enough to melt some of the tarmac on the roads, I took the dogs for a walk to the usual place for a short exercise session. On returning home I noticed both dogs were distressed and panting excessively. I was quite worried at the time and checked over the dogs as best as I could. I noticed that during these examinations I had got road tar over my jeans transferred from the dog's paws.

This struck a chord, I remembered that dogs partly transpire (that's "sweat") through their paws. The coating of tar on the dog's feet was partially sealing the pads and preventing transpiration. The paws were fully cleaned and washed with both dogs returning more or less to normal within 15 minutes.

This sort of event is not common, however, it shows how easy it is to get caught out even if you are very careful about your dog's welfare.

In case we are treated more hot days later in the year:

Always provide your dog with plenty of cool water to drink.

Make sure your dog is located in a shady place out of direct sunlight. (many short coated dogs can get sunburn especially underneath if they lie for long periods in direct sunlight)

Never leave your dog in a locked car or with the windows closed or in an unshaded spot (remember the sun moves round and a shade spot can become unshaded quite quickly)

But of course you know all this already, don't you.

Best regards,


PS. If you require a non-spill water bowl, to carry with you in the car, take a look at the dog care website:-


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