Beech House Vets | A Dog’s Life!
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A Dog’s Life!

Getting a dog is an important decision and there are many things to be taken into consideration, when you decide to get a new pet.  Initially, it needs to be considered whether it is the right time for you to get a dog.  What kind of dog would be best for you?  How will the rest of the family welcome your new family member?   How about rescue dogs?   What breed would be best for you?

Dog ownership brings many benefits and joys, like encouraging exercise and improving your social life!

The Kennel Club is a society dedicated to the health and welfare of dogs of all kinds.  They have a wealth of information to help you make the right choices about your dog.

Are You Ready for a Dog?

Caring forYour Dog

Children and Dogs

Keeping Dogs Warm This Winter

BVA is urging pet owners to take extra precautions to ensure their dogs, cats and other small pets are kept safe from hazards this winter as temperatures continue to drop. Here are some tips from the vets themselves:

  • Decrease the time your animal is exposed to the cold. Like humans, pets can fall ill when exposed to cold temperatures for extended periods. Vets have been advising that owners walk their dogs for shorter periods of time than usual, but more frequently if required. Consider putting a coat on older dogs or ones with less fur.
  • Keep your dog on the lead. When walking where there is ice or snow, beware that ponds and lakes may have frozen over – animals aren’t aware of the danger of thin ice that they could fall through. In this situation, call the emergency services for professional help rather than going in after your pet. Although distressing, it is never worth risking your own life as well as your dog’s.
  • Wipe your dog’s paws and stomach when you get home. This will help to remove any ice or salt. Also, regularly check for cracks in paw-pads and any redness between the toes. This can also help to prevent them from ingesting toxins they may have stood in whilst outside. Antifreeze is particularly toxic, with one in four vets reporting having to treat pets for antifreeze poisoning over the last year alone.

If you have any concerns about your pet in this cold weather, please ask us for advice.

Keeping Dogs Cool

We have had many hot days this summer, so here are some easy steps to prevent a dog from overheating:

  • Do not take them out during the day (other than briefly)
  • Keep them in a cool room, with a cool floor and keep the curtain drawn to keep out the sunlight.
  • An electric fan will help the air to circulate and keep cold water available at all times. Dropping ice cubes into the water is helpful.
  • If they go outside, supervise them at all times, and do not let them lie in the sun for long. If they are light coloured or white, put sun block on their ears. Do not leave outside for long.
  • DO NOT WALK THEM IN THE HEAT – not under any circumstances, Remember roads and pavements stay hot long after the sun has gone in, so beware even in the late evening.
  • NEVER leave your dog in a car on a warm day.


Dogs eliminate heat through panting; however if the temperature of the environment is too hot and humid then panting becomes ineffective.

Normal body temperature is around 38.5C/101.4F. In cases of heat-stroke a dog’s body temperature can rise in excess of 41.6C/107F. Increased muscular effort displayed during excessive panting can also cause a rise in body temperature.

Signs of heat-stroke:

·        Panting excessively

·        Anxious behaviour

·        Very red gums turning blue in extreme circumstances

·        Salivating

·        Very rapid heart rate

·        In cases of severe heat-stroke – collapse, convulsions, shock

What to do if your dog is suffering with heat-stroke:

·        Seek veterinary attention immediately as it can be difficult to be sure how serious the situation is and urgent treatment may be needed.

·        Remove the dog from the hot environment

·        Reduce body temperature immediately

·        Immerse the dog in tepid water, cooling gradually, using either a shower spray or similar.  Then douse the dog in cool water, particularly the head and neck – avoid using ice-cold water; or cover your dog with wet sheets.  Use a fan to increase air flow over the dog as this aids cooling.

·        Allow the dog to drink as much water as he wants in small quantities at a time (if possible add a pinch of salt to the water)

·        Continue to douse the dog in cold water until his breathing starts to settle

·        Seek veterinary attention as soon as is safe to do so

Please note

·        If using a fan to cool your dog be careful of electric wires.

·        Do not throw cold water over your dog!

If a dog’s temperature is not reduced immediately, heat-stroke can be fatal.