Frozzy’s, producers of the healthy and nutritious lickable frozen yoghurt for dogs, has teamed up with renowned vet Luc Van Dijck and founder of the Luc Van Dijk Veterinary Centre in Wigan, to urge dog owners across the UK to be more aware of the risks linked to this summer’s rising temperatures. Animals can’t deal with soaring temperatures so easily, and dogs are especially at risk from severe overheating.
Speaking on heatstroke and sun safety, Luc Van Dijick says: “Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes. Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. Imagine wearing a thick winter coat on a hot summer’s day and you’ll understand why dogs succumb to heatstroke so easily.
“Even cats are at risk. Pale-coloured cats for example are vulnerable to sunburn; particularly on their ears, noses and sparsely haired areas. Use pet safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet’s skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn. If you’re unsure on the right product, please ask your vet.
“We have also had cases were curious cats seek out cooling breezes in the summer, and at this time of year we treat more and more cats with serious injuries after falling from heights when their owners open the windows.
“Signs of heatstroke include collapse, excessive panting, and dribbling. If you suspect your dog or cat is suffering, move them to a cool place, preferably with a draught, wet their coat and contact a vet immediately. Avoid overcooling by using cool, not freezing, water.”
Luc adds: “Most owners make the potentially deadly mistake of leaving their dog in the car while they nip out on an errand. But even a minute is too long. A car can become an oven very quickly even when it doesn’t feel that warm. If you see a dog in distress inside a car, official advice is to dial 999 immediately and ask for the police. A dog in distress in a hot car is an emergency and the police will advise you what to do based on the situation.”
Another common issue with animals in the heat says Luc, is the tarmac. “Dogs’ paw pads can burn on hot pavements. Place the back of your palm on the ground. Generally, if it’s too hot for your hand it’s too hot for their paws. Walk your dog at the cooler times of the day, either first thing in the morning or early evening.
“If a dog must remain outside, ensure there is ample shade throughout the day and plenty of water. Putting ice cubes into your dog or cat’s water bowl is another fantastic idea. Dogs may also appreciate a paddling pool to splash around in.”
Noel Conlon, Founder of Frozzys says: “We are delighted to partner with Luc to get across these vital health messages. Our team have been extremely concerned by the continued number of stories in the news about animals left in cars while owners pop to the shop. Our frozen yoghurt was created specifically to give owners the ability to keep their beloved pet cool and safe in the heat when at home or on walks. These temperatures are exceptional, and we urge people to understand the risks and follow Luc’s advice. Awareness is key, and we hope that our appeal will help more animals to stay cool and safe in the sun.”