A few do’s and don’ts on enjoying the weather with you dogs.
Summer Heat Guidelines:
- Some breeds don’t tolerate the heat well
- Thick coated breeds- collies, huskies, malamutes, newfoundlands
- Large Breeds- great danes, rottweilers, boxers
- Bracycephalic breeds- pugs, french bulldogs, boston terriers
- No cars. Period. It’s unimaginably hot in a closed car. Don’t be tempted, it’s not worth the risk
- Some dogs don’t know when to quit
- Dogs who love to please won’t quit, even when they get tired.
- Limit exercise for those who would chase a ball until they drop
- The pavement is HOT!
- If you wouldn’t walk on the pavement barefooted, your dog probably doesn’t want to either. Pawpads can be burned by hot pavement.
- Give them a place away from the sun.
- You may like soaking in the rays, but dogs need shade and plenty of water during the heat of summer.
- If your pet is used to air conditioning, they aren’t going to be as tolerant of the heat.
Fun things to do with your pets this summer
- Go for a swim
- Start small. Not all of us are natural golden retrievers! There is nothing wrong with a few inches of water in the bottom of the kiddie pool as a starting spot. Small plastic pools are pretty affordable, and are a great way to introduce your dog to water. Don’t force reluctant pets. They’ll do what they are comfortable with.
- Learn a new trick
- When the family is home from school, it’s a great time to learn some new tricks. You don’t have to be outside to do some obedience training. If you are beating the heat outside by hanging out in the air conditioning, take the opportunity to brush up on Fido’s obedience training.
- Bobbing for treats
- Remember that kiddie pool? Fill with a few inches of water, and drop treats one at a time into the water. Active dogs will enjoy fishing the treats out. Remember not to over do it on the treats OR the water! Yes, there is such a thing as drinking too much. No upset bellies this summer, please!
- Challenge your dog’s nose
- Start small by having your dog stay, place the treat a few feet in front of them, and make them wait until you say “find it.” Gradually move the treat further, then start hiding. Another alternative is to play “find the treat” using three shoeboxes and a strategically placed snack. These are good games to keep the mind occupied.
- Don’t fear the walk!
- As long as you exercise caution, walks can be a safe summer activity. Do outdoor activities in the morning and evening, and don’t take a fast walk. Take a nice, short stroll. Be sure to stay off hot pavement, stay in the shade, and take some water.
What you should know about Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
- Bright red mucus membranes, collapse, excessive panting, vomiting, and seizures can all be signs of heat stroke. A rectal temperature over 104 degrees after exertion is suspicious for heat exhaustion
- What to do
- Start cooling. Wet paw pads with cool water, hose dog with cool water, and start a fan on the dog. This can be life saving. Cooling should be stopped when the pet reaches 104 degrees to avoid dropping the body temperature too low.
- HEAD TO THE VET RIGHT AWAY
- Complications of heat stroke
- Renal failure, interruptions in the ability of the blood to clot, and hypoglycemia can occur. Unfortunately pets that suffer from heat stroke are at a very high risk of developing complications that result in death.