Cold water, muzzle and climate congestion can be life-threatening for four-legged friends these days
Vienna (OTS/RK) – The fact that a dog should never be left in the car in hot weather should be well known. Less known are the “hidden” dangers to which the four-legged friends are often unintentionally exposed at high temperatures. “A well-intentioned cooling in the river or a supposedly more pleasant nylon loop for the mouth instead of bulky muzzle can become life-threatening for dogs in these days”, warns the Viennese animal protection ombudswoman Eva Persy. Already with short journeys in the car the trunk threatens besides to become the heat trap.
For many dogs a trip to one of the five bathing places in Vienna is a welcome refreshment. But as tempting as the jump into the cool water is: overheated dogs should never jump into cold water, let alone be thrown in. “Doing so can rupture the aorta, leading to the dog’s death within moments,” warns Eva Persy. Instead, a shallow access to the water should be sought, over which the quadruped can enter and leave the cool wet independently at any time.
General caution is advised with certain breeds. “Short-nosed animals such as pugs or bulldogs not only have enormous problems with breathing in these temperatures, but usually also have difficulty swimming,” Persy says. “So the well-intentioned cool-down can quickly become a hazard for the animals.”
As a muzzle inadmissible and at warm temperatures even life-threatening are muzzles for dogs. These enclose the dog’s muzzle so tightly that it can no longer be opened, or only minimally. Panting, which is vital for temperature regulation, is thus not possible. The animals are also unable to drink water. “Some owners think that the light fabric loops are a harmless muzzle substitute, because they can be bought in pet shops without a warning label,” says Persy. “But in reality, the animals overheat and can’t help themselves. It’s like trying to gasp for air underwater – a horrible idea.”
The fact that a dog left in a parked car is quickly in mortal danger is well known. But the passenger car can also become a heat trap while driving with the air conditioning on if the four-legged friend is transported in the trunk. “The air conditioning often cools the trunk insufficiently or not at all,” warns Eva Persy. “Therefore, avoid long journeys in the midday and afternoon heat and, if necessary, have the windows of the trunk and the rear seat darkened with sun protection film.” As a first aid measure, sunscreens that attach to the windshield with suction cups can also provide relief. A special leak-proof travel bowl ensures that dogs can drink water at any time, even during the trip.
You can get more tips on the subject of heat and pets at the [website of the Vienna Animal Protection Ombudsman’s Office] (https://www.tieranwalt.at/).
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