Although summer is officially over and fall has begun, here in the Desert it stays very hot for the next few months. And as much fun as it may be enjoying the heat, it is important that we realize that this desert heat can be harmful to our dogs.
On a hot day, one minute your dog can be happily running after a squirrel, or playing with his doggy best bud, and 10 minutes later, can be in danger of going in to shock from heat stroke.
Signs that your dog is in distress from heat stroke:
*Foaming at the mouth
*Bright red tongue
*Dark red gums that may turn blue or grey
*High temperature (over 102.5)
If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, immediately put their paws into cool (not cold) water and gently spray or hose them with cool (not cold) water. If you are using a hose, be sure the water coming out is cool not hot because a hose that is sitting in the sun all day may have hot water coming out at first and may need to run for a while. Put a cool, wet towel around your dog and take him to the vet. Along the way, stroke your dog’s ears from the head to the ear tip, as that may help keep them from going into shock. And don’t panic, as your dog will pick up on your stress and that will add to the problem. Fast action could save your dog’s life.
Six Top Tips to keep your dog cool:
1.Walk your dog early in the morning, or later in the evening. Do not walk your dog in the heat of the day as the pavement will likely be too hot for their paws. Put your hand or bare feet on the pavement. If it is too hot for your hand or bare feet, it will be too hot for your dog to walk on. It will burn your dog’s paws. Find a shady place in the grass for your dog to relieve herself.
2.NEVER leave your dog in the car without the air conditioning on. A car can heat up VERY quickly and be deadly to your dog. If you have errands to do on a hot summer day, you may want to leave your dog at home in the a/c.
3.Use sunscreen on your dog. There are many brands of pet sunscreen. Dogs can burn and get skin cancer just like us.
4.To give your dog exercise on a hot day, walk him in an indoor mall or large store such as Walmart, Home Depot etc.
5.Soak a bandana in cool water and tie it around your dog’s neck.
6.Dogs love to frolic around in a kiddy pool. It will be fun for the whole family!
Older dogs especially are vulnerable to the heat. Have fun in the sun, but be aware that too much fun on a hot day may lead to trouble. Keep yourself and your dog safe by limiting your sun exposure on hot days. And for the next few months, it is still quite hot at night even after the sun goes down. Be aware of the signs that your dog may need to take a rest in the a/c. Dog nap anyone?
Hope your days are filled with lots of fun, tail wags, treats and licks! And I wish you and your furry family members good health and happiness!! And stay PAWSITIVE!