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Keep Cool When Traveling with Pets During Summer

Summer is just around the corner and while you’re traveling with pets or out enjoying the great outdoors, remember to take care to keep pets safe from the heat. When we get hot, we know to seek shade and water on our own. Our four-legged best friends, however, rely on us to ensure their safety in the summer sun and heat.  A dog’s normal temperature is between 100 and 102.5. Heat stroke can set in very quickly in dogs and may be fatal if not treated immediately. A canine temperature of 103 to 105 degrees is heat stress and 106 or higher is heat stroke. Immediate medical intervention must be sought. Early indications of heat stroke in dogs include rapid breathing, heavy panting, staggering, fatigue and muscle tremors.

The very first thing you should do if your dog exhibit signs of heat stress or heat stroke is to cool them off with tepid water—not cold water as that could be too much of a shock to their system.  Make sure your dog is kept in a cool and shady place and administer small amounts of water.

We hope that most of us will never have to see our beloved pets suffer from heat stroke. In order to prevent it, certain precautions should be taken.  The following tips will help keep your dog cool during the summer.

  • Make sure your dog has a shady and well ventilated (or air conditioned) area to hang out in so he can escape the heat of the summer sun.
  • Make sure your dog has at least two full water bowls. One could get knocked over. The heat of the day may lead your dog to fully drink one of the bowls. It is better to be safe rather than sorry, especially if your dog is left outside while you’re at work or running errands.
  • During the summertime, walk your dog before and after the heat of the day – early morning or late evening.
  • While walking or exercising your dog in the summer, make sure you have water with you at all times.
  • Consider booties for places that get exceptionally hot like Arizona, Southern Nevada and other desert areas. The concrete and asphalt can hit near liquid states from the heat and your pooch’s paws need protecting.
  • Get a baby pool for your dog to cool off in. If you have a small pool, ensure that your dog knows how to both enter and exit the pool.
  • When you are going out to run errands in hot water, leave your dog at the hotel unless it is absolutely necessary to take them with you. The heat that builds up in a parked car can get to fatal levels very quickly, even when left parked in the shade with the windows open. Never ever do this to not only a dog, but any living being. Seriously. We’ve all seen the news reports.

And finally, some dog breeds, such as bulldogs, are at a higher risk in hot weather than others. One would hope that if you own one of these breeds, you’re well aware of the special heat related needs of your dog. Short nosed breeds like Bulldogs, Boxers and Pugs as well as dogs with heavy coats like Newfoundlands and Huskies are at risk in very warm climates.

It really comes down to common sense and taking responsibility. By following our tips and being cognizant of your dog’s needs, you will be able to keep your dog safe from the summer heat and its related issues.



Posted by Amy L. on Apr 28, 2011 in Blog, no comments
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