You’ve probably already noticed, but just in case, we’ll say it here: it’s really hot outside. With a heatwave forecast for this weekend in many areas of the country, it’s important for everyone and their pets to keep cool and stay out of the sun.
Heat stress and heatstroke are both very real risks for dogs in this kind of weather, but some breeds are more vulnerable than others.
For Pugs, French bulldogs and British bulldogs, heat stress and heat stroke are incredibly dangerous. Because of their very short muzzles, they have trouble breathing, which means they also have trouble cooling themselves down when the weather is warm.
Combined with extreme weather, these extreme features are a recipe for disaster. These breeds of dogs can get into heat distress very quickly.
For many dogs, and particularly these breeds, today is not a day to be outside or to go for a walk. Keep your dog inside in the air-conditioning to help keep them cool. If you don’t have air-con, leave a fan on and make sure they have access to cool fresh water at all times. You could even add a few ice cubes to keep the water cold.
Across the weekend, please keep a close eye on your pet and look for any signs of heatstroke. Symptoms include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, fatigue, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and even seizures. If your dog appears to be suffering from any of the above, please call your vet as soon as possible.
For too many pugs and bulldogs in particular, this hot weather can be fatal.
The AVA and the RSPCA have launched the Love Is Blind campaign to raise awareness about the health and welfare problems caused by exaggerated features, such as the shortened muzzle, among others.
For more information on the Love is Blind campaign visit: http://www.loveisblind.org.au