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Summer heat and dogs
Caroline Fardell of Hound Solutions with advice for hot days and what pets might dream about
What do you advise for dogs on hot summer days? Less walks/exercise – or choosing early mornings or evenings when it is cooler? On very hot summer days, the advice is simple. Don’t take your dog for a walk!
Your dog needs a balance of regular mental and physical exercise for optimum wellbeing. But in extreme hot weather, the priority changes to ensuring your dog’s health is not compromised. Unless you can take your dog out for a short (and I mean no more than about ten minutes) walk, avoiding hot pavements, before 8am and after 8pm on a scorcher, then just don’t bother. Canine heatstroke is common and can be fatal.
Unless your dog is the sort to flop in the shade all day long, then he still needs supervision in the garden. Some dogs won’t regulate their exercise even in hot weather so you need to do that for them. If necessary, restrict them to a cool room indoors. Paddling pools and hoses can be fun for your dog but be aware of over- exciting him or triggering water-intoxication. The latter can and does happen if you continuously throw a ball for your dog to retrieve from water – or by the dog trying to bite the jet of water coming out of a hose.
Pay particular care to puppies and elderly dogs, and although fit, adult dogs may fare better in extremely hot weather, any dog can be affected by the heat. The brachycephalic breeds such as pugs, Boston terriers, boxers and bulldogs are high risk types as their airways are already compromised by the structure of their faces. So, reward your dog for lying quietly in the shade. Amuse him with low energy hide and seek games if necessary, but step away from the dog lead.
What do we know about dogs and dreaming? When ours does muffled barks and twitches in his sleep we imagine him chasing something! Scientists believe that dogs do, in fact, dream – and that, just like humans, they dream about experiences they have had.
If your dog is twitching in its sleep, it’s entirely possible that he’s dreaming about chasing squirrels or rabbits.
Evidence based research back in 2001 discovered that rats dream – or certainly their brains performed in the
same way as humans when they
dream. They also discovered that the rats appeared to be reliving their waking activities. So, going on the basis that if rats dream, then dreaming in all mammals is highly likely. The researchers came to the conclusion that dogs dream – and probably about exciting experiences with tennis balls and pheasants! Additionally, studies have found that dogs probably have nightmares just like humans, and can also suffer from narcolepsy.
If you are intrigued, then why not check out a book called Do Dogs Dream? Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know. This was written in 2012 by Stanley Coren, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of British Columbia
in Canada. Coren has also written many other books on dog learning, dog intelligence, and the human /canine bond. n Call Caroline on 07530 504340 or email
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