The peak daytime temperatures forecast this weekend will bring a much greater risk of working dogs suffering from heat stress or heat exhaustion.
This is a very serious condition, which can cause severe damage to a dog’s health and unfortunately can often lead to the death of dogs.
Dogs do not sweat through their skin, with heat regulated via panting and sweat loss through their nose and foot pads.
Dehydration can quickly occur when dogs are worked in excessive temperatures and it also limits a dog’s ability to keep cool.
No work in peak temperatures
Therefore, it is important to ensure that dogs are not worked during the peak daytime temperatures we are experiencing at present.
Temperatures are still higher than normal outside this range and it is important not to overwork a dog and to also carry a supply of water to prevent dehydration and help body temperature regulation.
Regular rest is important and another aspect to take into account is the terrain on which dogs are working.
Surfaces can become very hot and pose the risk of a dog’s foot pads burning, while moving animals on tar roads where tar is melting brings added complications.
The last aspect to be mindful to is not leaving animals inside vehicles.
Sheep can also suffer from heat stress if faced with excessive pressure or asked to travel over difficult terrain or long distances during peak daytime temperatures.