Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

The Heat Is On!

 

By Jennifer Herne, LVT

Oh no! The last few days have been horrible, for me anyways. I am not a summer heat type of person. I prefer the cold. I know there are a lot of you who enjoy this heat, but those of you with pets should take precautions during times of high heat and humidity.

Did you know that dogs cannot sweat like we do? I am sure you have seen your dog panting, this is when their mouth is open, tongue is hanging out and they are breathing heavily. This is one of the ways they remove heat from their bodies. They don't have as many sweat glands as we do. Therefore, it is so important for you to keep your dog cool; if not, they can overheat quickly and can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke and they could possibly die.

Dogs also have sweat glands on their feet. If you think about it they don't have many ways to cool themselves off. This is where you, the pet owner, can help. Some of the things you can do to help keep your pet cool are as follows:

• Keep your pet indoors and in air conditioning if possible; use a fan to help cool them off. My dog loves the fan on him at night.

• Don't leave your pet in the parked car when you go shopping. There is no reason to take your dog shopping with you. Cars can heat up very fast and your dog could die.

• Keep your pet in a shaded cool area with access to lots of fresh cool water. I don't like to drink warm water and neither does your dog. Change the water often during the day to help keep it fresh.

• If your dog has a house outside, you should make sure that it is properly insulated to keep hot air out. A doghouse can cause heat stroke if it isn't properly built. Some doghouses will hold in the heat.

• Invest in a kiddie pool for your dog. Let your dog dip in the pool and cool himself off. Make sure you change the pool water regularly. My dog loves to swim and chew on his pool! Just be careful your dog doesn't eat his pool!

• Regular trips to the groomer are helpful as well. During the visit your dog can get a good brushing of the old coat and trim up the hair on the feet. By trimming the feet hair, it allows the pads freedom to sweat! This also helps reduce infections in your dog's toes! Be wary of getting your dog's coat shaved off, no fur can lead to sunburns and you don't want your dog to be burnt!

• Lastly, if you take walks on pavement, please walk in the evenings when the pavement is cool. The hot pavement during the day can cause burns to the pads of your dogs' feet.

Keep these summer safety tips in mind and don't forget to enjoy the heat, if you like that sort of thing...

 

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