Keeping Greyhounds Safe in High Temperatures

05 July 2017

The warm weather is back, and with it, the risks of heat-related conditions affecting your greyhound. Across the UK our branches are working hard to make sure that the welfare of the dogs remains the primary concern and are taking extra care to prevent any of our greyhounds suffering in the heat.

If you’re worried about your hound in the hot weather, our Operations Manager Jo Blake has put together some simple guidelines on how to keep your hound safe happy in the heat of summer.

Our biggest priority at all times is the welfare of our greyhounds, whether out and about at events, in kennels, or at home with your own dogs and/or foster dogs.

We all come together to help greyhounds because they are precious to us, so here is a quick reminder of things to consider for your hounds (and other dogs) in high temperatures:

  • Keep out of the sun when it is at its strongest, usually between 11am and 3pm.
  • Walk dogs early or late in the day when it is usually cooler. If it remains too hot to go out for a walk, games and/or training with your greyhound can be a great way to stimulate them, or toys such as a stuffed Kong (there are lots of great recipes are available online for chilled, frozen or room temperature options), can be great to break up the day for them.
  • If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for a dog’s paws.
  • Ensure dogs have access to clean water at all times.
  • NEVER leave a dog alone in a car or van even if parked in the shade with the windows open.
  • Be particularly careful with older, overweight or dogs with chronic conditions as they may particularly struggle to cope with the heat.
  • If using wet towels/towel coats ensure you wet them with cool, not cold, water (cold restricts the blood vessels restricting the body’s ability to release heat) and ensure that towels are regularly removed and warm water contained within them is wrung out and replenished with fresh cool water. A wet towel/coat left on a dog for a long period will eventually warm up with the dog’s body heat and insulate the body, adding to the issue

Watch for signs of overheating:

o   Heavy or excessive panting

o   Dribbling

o   Loss of energy, lethargy

o   Lack of coordination

o   Overly red or purple gums

o   Rapid pulse

o   Collapse

o   Seizures

o   Vomiting, diarrhoea

If you’re concerned a dog is showing signs of overheating take them to a shady place, ideally with a draught/breeze, offer them cool (not cold) water and call a vet for advice immediately.

We all enjoy getting out and about in the summer sun, but please remember that your dog can’t tell you when they are overheating, so you need to keep a close eye on them when you’re out and about. Stick to Jo’s advice and make sure that your hounds stay happy in the heat this summer. 

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