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Summer Safety for Dog's
Some of us cannot get enough of the summer sun and others dread the thought of walking to the car and sweating profusely. The sun has many health benefits including; Improving our mood by increasing serotonin, providing Vitamin D to reduce inflammation, lowering blood pressure and, improving our sleep.
The Sun also gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth.
While many of our canine friends love to baste in the sun they do not gain the same health benefits as us because they cannot absorb Vitamin D very well.
Our dogs are domesticated and reliant on us so they do not always possess the logic and instinct to avoid dehydration or heat stroke. As pet parents, we are responsible for making wise decisions to protect our pets against the collateral damage of the sun.
Dogs do not sweat like us but they release a bit of moisture from the footpads and inner part of they/re legs. To sweat, they mostly pant through their mouths which is an inefficient way to cool themselves down.
How to keep your pets Safe and Cool during this Scorching Hot Summer
- Ensure you provide access to water indoors and out and check the bowls frequently. Do Not leave your pets unattended in the backyard on really hot days. Even if you leave water and the bowl gets knocked over your dog can dehydrate. Also, make sure your dogs have a shaded area to escape the sun.
- Walk your dogs early morning and late in the day when the sun is the weakest and bring a travel bowl with water.
- If you have a hairless breed or light-colored dog consider some doggy sunscreen. Yes, dogs get sunburned.
- If your living in cities with extreme temperatures like Las Vegas, Scottsdale, or Dallas with hot paved sidewalks keep them on the grass as much as pawsible and you can try either booties or a paw wax to prevent burns. If its 90+ Degrees feel the sidewalk with your hand and if its too hot for you its too hot for your dogs tender paws
- Never ever leave a dog in the car unattended. Even with the windows open, a bowl of water, or parking in the shade it will not offer your pet any protection against 70 degrees Fahrenheit on a mild day which can quickly rise to 115 degrees in a car turning your car into an oven. The only solution to leaving a dog in the car is to keep the air condition on and have someone in the car with your dog.
NOTE- Even leaving the air conditioner on in a parked car in extreme heat can force a car engine to overheat and an air compressor to shut down. Imagine your dog in a car on a hot day with no air conditioning. If you sat in the car yourself with no air conditioning on a hot day it would be unbearable in just a few minutes. With your dog's inability to sweat properly it is much, much worse.
IMPORTANT -If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, take down the car’s color, model, make, license plate number, and location of the car and call the Police.
Brachycephalic Dog Breeds
Frenchies, Pugs and Bulldogs are the most likely to suffer respiratory distress because of their flat faces resulting in excessive panting and poor breathing. These dogs must be kept cool at all times and not exposed to heat for lengthy periods
If you have a pool hopefully it's enclosed and make sure your dog is never left alone because if they jump or fall in the pool and you only have a ladder some dogs cannot climb up and will repeatedly try to scale the pool liner which is slippery. Things like the SKAMPER RAMP help dogs safely escape a pool and they can be trained very easily to use it.
Signs of heatstroke
2.Rapid heart rate
4.Weakness or confusion
5.Salivation or Drooling
6.Vomiting or Diarrhea
If you suspect your dog has heatstroke call your vet and in the meantime bring them in an air-conditioned room, soak a towel in cool water and drape it over them or immerse them in a kiddy pool or bathtub using cool (not cold) water
Dehydration is no laughing matter. If left untreated it can lead to organ damage and even death.
Signs of dehydration
- Panting excessively
- Bluish or bright Red gums
- Disoriented, staggering
- Vomiting or Diarrhea
- Dry, sunken eyes
How to confirm your dog is dehydrated?
Capillary Refill Time
If your dog allows you in his mouth press on the gums for one second and release. The gums will turn white and should turn red again in 1-2 seconds or they could be dehydrated or even in shock. Dehydration is also evident if the gums are dry.. If your dog's mouth is an area that is off-bounds then pull the skin just above the neck and release to assess hydration. If the skin stays in place when pulled and does not go back to its original position it could also be a sign of dehydration.
How to Deal with Dehydration
If your dog is drinking water and keeping it down they might be fine but if your dog is refusing water and has signs listed above call your Vet immediately. Your Vet might administer an I.V. drip of Subcutaneous fluids to increase hydration and electrolytes
Summer Safety Products
1.Skamper Ramp to help dogs exit pools easily
2.Kool Collar drips cold water down your dog's neck
3. Whether your dog likes to swim in the ocean or a lake a Dog Life Preserver can be a lifesaver
4.Doggles is one of our favorite products as it protects eyes against UV rays and flying objects when a dog sticks their head outside a window in a moving car and it reduces glare
5.Cooling Dog Pads (Too many to mention) but will keep your dog more comfortable
6. Pawz Dog Boots are great for all seasons and will help prevent pawburn