Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dogs and the Heat - Heat Can Have a Devastating Effect on Your Dog

Your dog and the heat are not natural friends. A dog's characteristic cooling is through his respiratory system and that can be affected by the humidity index as well as the temperature. If the temperature is 90 degrees and the humidity is at 70% the actual heat index is 105 degrees - the temperature at which heat stroke is possible. At 130 degrees or higher heat stroke becomes extremely probable. Protecting your dog from heat stroke when these conditions exist is possible if you take proper precautions.
Since caring for a dog and the heat of summer can create a sizeable health risk for your pet, you need to be prepared. The first thing a dog will need in defense of the heat is the same thing you need - adequate water. A body that is not adequately hydrated is much more susceptible to the ravages of heat stroke. An easily transportable dish, like pet quenchers, that can provide clear cool water any time and place that your dog needs it. Another way that water can serve to help keep your dog cool is in the back-yard. A shallow pond can supply a watery play-space, or the hose can cool your over-heated dog. Introduce your dog to the hose slowly, starting at his paws in order not to frighten him.
One of the primary dangers to be aware of is a dog and the heat of a sealed up car. The temperature of a parked car can quickly escalate by more than 40 degrees in 30 minutes. The inside of your car literally acts like an oven. Leaving your dog in the car on a hot day is okay if you will only be gone for five minutes, but even for such a short time you will want to ensure that they can get adequate air. Instead of worrying about car-theft when you must leave your dog, invest in a simple, unbreakable pet vent that will lock into your window allowing the air through while preventing theft. While we are talking about your car don't forget to get a window shade to protect your pet from the glaring sun while you travel.
Dogs and humans share many common responses to heat - sun burn, overheating and heat stroke. If your dog has a very thick coat consider having it trimmed back for summer. Do not shave it though because that can lead to sunburn. If your dog is over weight take extra special care as obese dogs are even more susceptible to heat stroke. Careful attention to your dog's needs for coolness, hydration and rest will ensure that your dog does not succumb to these common hot weather conditions. Keeping these things in mind is a sure way to make sure that your dog and the heat of the day don't become a recipe for disaster.
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1 comment:

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! thanks for great information. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar