Hot Weather Safety PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Dowdle   
Sunday, 15 August 2010 14:14

When traveling with your Norfolk make sure it wears an identifying collar and is either in a secure crate or attached by harness to a seat belt. An emergency plan that includes a list of the dogs with you, their names, owners with contact information, feeding and medication instructions is a necessity. If you are incapacitated that at least offers some protection for the dogs traveling with you. If you experience emergencies, the simpler you make it for responders to help you and your pets, the higher your success rate will be for survival for all.

Carry water and ice with you when you travel with your Norfolk in hot weather. Frozen 1 litre bottles of ice can be placed in crates. Crate fans can be used to blow over the frozen bottles. Put bags of ice in the ex-pens for extreme heat, the dogs like to lie down next to the ice to keep cool. Have a heat alarm for your vehicle if you leave dogs in the vehicle for air conditioning. These are simple heat exhaustion prevention opportunities. Remember too, if a surface heated by the sun (i.e. black asphalt) is too hot to be comfortable on your bare feet, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.

If it is difficult for you to breathe due to the heat it is going to be difficult for your dog. Also, a dog will absorb more heat if it is dark in color. Garry Mason (UK) has offered excellent reminders for dealing with the record heat we have all faced this summer: Keep your eye on your dogs through the summer months, as they can go down with heat stroke quite quickly. Here is some information to keep on hand for the hot weather.

  • Early Stages: Rapid breathing increased heart rate dry mucous membranes , depression increased body temperature
  • Later Stages: Collapse, pale mucous membranes , vomiting, diarrhea , seizures, coma, death

Treatment Heatstroke is a medical emergency! If you suspect heatstroke, move the dog to a shaded area, soak the coat in cool water; apply ice packs under the legs and transport immediately to your veterinarian. It is possible to cause the temperature to drop abnormally low, so if you are a distance away - and if possible - monitor the temperature on the way.

Complications Even if the dog is successfully cooled, he may develop internal organ damage, which may not be noticeable for 1 - 5 days after apparent recovery. These include clotting abnormalities, kidney and liver failure, or gastrointestinal damage. Signs include bleeding tendencies, failure to urinate, jaundice, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.

The most important aid in heatstroke is prevention!!

  • Don't "treat" your dogs by letting them accompany you in the car for errands in the warmer months. NEVER leave the dog in the car, even with the windows down!!!
  • Plan any walks with your dog early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • >Don't allow your dog to over-exert itself. This especially applies to our working dogs or overactive, playful dogs!
  • Always have plenty of fresh water and shade available.
  • A very common problem we see is a dog that has accidentally spilled their water over while the owner was away. Make sure you have a tip-proof bowl.
  • If the dog is tied up, make sure the leash can't cause a spill, and that the dog can always reach the water.
  • Keep your Norfolk cool and well hydrated in hot weather.


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