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How to protect our dogs in the Summer Heat

Keep your pets cool this summer!
Creative Commons free use license

Summer can be dangerous for our pets! Just flipping on the TV News will prove that!

Fur provides some amount of protection from the sun but thick fur prevents body heat from escaping and promotes overheating. It's a myth that shaving a dog's coat makes him hotter. Shaving it to the skin can make him vulnerable to sunburn but cutting the fur to about one inch can help him stay cooler. If you don't want to shave him brush as much undercoat as you can out and be sure no solid mats are there to trap heat and moisture.

Here are several Tips on protecting pets in the heat this summer.

· Don’t walk or run your dog in the heat. That may seem obvious but we see it every day in the Arizona scorching heat! Try to take early morning short walks or late evening walks.

· Never, Ever, Ever keep your pets in parked cars! Or children for that matter!

· Be prepared for travel emergencies. What are some things that could happen if your car broke down while traveling with your pet and while you waited you used your only bottle of water? Try this:

· Try bringing a cooler with ice.

· Bring a battery powered fan.

· Have a towel that you can soak in the melted part of the ice in the cooler and place it over your pet’s head and/or body.

Cooling an overheated Dog at home

We are all human. Even the worst mistakes can happen to people with good intentions. In today's society we all have busy schedules, always on the go, and people forget when they rush. It can be a true tragedy. If you inadvertently leave your dog outside and find him overheated there are a few things you can do at home:

Move him indoors and cool him down slowly. Don't plunge an overheated dog into ice water! This is usually what most people think they should do. This causes the peripheral blood vessels to contract actually trapping the overheated blood at the body's core -- just where it does most harm. Instead, cool the dog slowly by placing him in cool water or by draping him with wet towels and aiming a fan at him. Offer him plenty of cool water. If you have a thermometer, cool him until his temperature reaches 103 degrees F (39 degrees C), then stop as it will continue to decline. As soon as you have him cooling transport him to us so we can monitor him. Even if he appears to have recovered he needs to go to the veterinarian because some delayed but deadly effects can still occur even days later.

Not All Dogs Can Swim!

Although swimming is a great exercise in warm weather make sure your dog can swim first! Some breeds, such as bulldogs, French bulldogs and Pekingese, have the swimming ability of cinder blocks. Even good swimmers can drown in backyard pools if they don't know where the steps are to climb out. Be cautious of your dog swallowing too much pool water that could aspirate into his lungs. Never leave your dog un-attended around the pool.

Dogs and UV Rays

Dogs, especially light-skinned dogs and white dogs, can get sunburn and melanoma cancer just like people can. If your dog likes to be in the sun rub a sun block on his belly and the top of his nose, the most common sites for sunburn. Most sun block is safe especially if you put it in places he cannot lick. Distract him for several minutes after you apply the sun block.


Thanks pet parents!


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