We asked questions of Bruno Naquet, a long-time veterinarian in Ruelle and still a member of the order of veterinarians of Charente. “Yes the dog is vulnerable to heat”, explains the practitioner straight away. And by nature almost more vulnerable than us: first, because he doesn’t sweat (or rather only pads) and pants to bring down his temperature. Some breeds suffer more than others when the mercury rises: those with flattened skulls at the nose and low ventilation capacity. Such as the boxer, the French bulldog or the Pug.
Another fragility (of all dogs) during a heat wave: the paw pads. They can be badly burned by the heat of the concrete sidewalks. And this is another morphological evidence that we often forget, reminds Dr. Naquet,“the dog evolves closer to the ground than us where the temperatures are much higher”.
According to the 30 million friends association, when the ambient temperature is 25°C, the temperature of a sunny sidewalk reaches 52°C. When it rises to almost 31°C, the concrete peaks at over 61°C. Imagine when it’s 41 like this Monday.
During this heat wave, Dr. Naquet advises avoiding walking your dog between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. And recalls another obvious fact: “Never leave your dog in the car when you go shopping, even if it’s parked in the shade and the window is slightly open. I have seen several cases of dogs dying of heatstroke in his circumstances”.
Bathe your dog in the Charente or the ponds to refresh it? “Why not but be careful”insists the veterinarian. “Courses or bodies of water can be loaded with cyanobacteria” (algae that release toxins editor’s note). They are dangerous to humans but deadly to dogs. “To be quiet, it is better to bathe your dog in places where the water is clean, rather clear, and provided there is current”. If the water is too calm, there is a “ risk of leptospirosis. A bacterium transmitted via a wound by the urine of a carrier animal (like the nutria) in stagnant water”.
Bathe your dog in the sea on vacation? ” Bad idea “finally supported Dr. Naquet. “If the water is refreshing, the dog will naturally drink while swimming, and salt water… It is imperative to pass it to clear water when it comes out of the sea”. He added that “Sand is an unfavorable environment for the dog, on the hot sand, your animal will suffer at the level of the pads of its paws. And that on a beach the dog is as sensitive as we are to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. And no one will put glasses on their dog.”